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Jul 2, 2021

Industrial Hemp and Cannabis Control Commission to be Established

Kareem Musa

So, what does this all mean? Well, following today’s House Meeting, Minister Musa told reporters that they have already set up a commission – it joins up with the Hemp Committee and is now called the “Industrial Hemp and Cannabis Control Commission.”  The commission will help to ensure fairness and that small scale planters can also reap the benefits of the marijuana industry.  Musa breaks down what the legislation seeks to do.

 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries

“What we are doing today is actually taking that same legislation one step further because back then it created sort of a practical and legal absurdity that one is allowed to have in their possession ten grams of cannabis but there is nowhere for you to actually receive it; you cannot grow it on your own and you certainly can’t go anywhere to purchase it. And there is no cultivation or anything like that in the country. So what we have is a situation where it is still an illegal trade and the importation of cannabis is primarily from Mexico and it is illegal. The people in involved in the trade are actually endangering their lives. We know that it is the source of so much warfare within the streets of Belize City. I would go so far to say that it is the number one reason our young people are killing one another. And so the legislation we are moving forward with has in there a component of a social equity license. And what does that entail? It entails that yes Government expects to make revenue, tax dollars from this industry but at the same time we need to incorporate the small man into this industry as well; there are players who are existing and so we have to find a way for this plan that has been so much division and warfare for it to become one of unity, a healing plant not just in terms of its medicinal qualities but because also of its social healing power; its economic healing power and so moving forward that is where we are headed. We will be allowing in this legislation home growing, as well, so that you as an individual at home can grow two plants. But also in terms of commercialization and the industrial aspects of it there will be various licenses included in this particular bill; there is cultivation license; manufacturing and processing license; there is also consumption lounge licenses; so various difference license that that fall under this legislation.”

 

The commission, according to Musa, includes representatives from various ministries, along with weed expert Alex Lavin and an individual who will represent the small scale weed cultivators.


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