Not too long ago, we wrote about the medical marijuana industry that appears to be on the horizon in Antigua and Barbuda. We pointed out the obvious – that there was a huge amount of money to be made – and opined that the government must establish a licensing regime that is transparent and fair. We return to this topic because we have learned that firms and individuals continue to make presentations to Cabinet directly and this does not foster any feelings of transparency and fairness.
We were under the impression that there would be a board established to oversee the licensing and it would be free from any political influence. We cannot allow this golden opportunity to become a ‘get rich quick’ scheme for political cronies and therefore, we must do all that we can to allow locals to take the lead and allow the wealth that will be created, to remain in the hands of locals. That way, we can all directly benefit form the money staying in Antigua and Barbuda and circulating here. There is no need to look beyond our shores for anything other than some expertise, and as we have said before, expertise is something that we can buy, it is not something that should buy us.
To be clear, the government has said that there has been no decision regarding who should be spearheading this venture. Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst said the process is ongoing, and there is no exact date for when the selection would occur. That is good news and we congratulate the government on taking time to ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes of other countries that rushed into medical marijuana without enough preparation. Acknowledging the need for standards, etc., is a step