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Jul 15, 2022

Will Belize Suffer More Losses in International Banking Relations if We Legalize the Marijuana Trade?

Prime Minister John Briceño

So, what will become of Belize’s international banking relations if we happen to get a yes vote on referendum day? We’ve already suffered greatly in terms of correspondent banking relations a few years ago and the same question has arisen again if bigger countries that do not support the marijuana trade refuse to do banking with us. The prime minister assured that the government will find a way around it.


Prime Minister John Briceño

“We did present a paper to Cabinet to say that the banking is still a bit concerned and asking us not to proceed until those banking issues have been addressed. So we have agreed to that. We have already agreed that this law will not be enacted until we have found a way of how we’re going to address the corresponding banking concerns that the banks have. So, that was not going to go into place immediately, but what is ironic is that the UDP, when they decriminalized marijuana, what they also did was legalize the cultivation of hemp, and as you know hemp is a controlled substance in the United States. So we already have that problem that if these growers of hemp would grow in such large scale that now they would be able to export, it also could potentially cause problems. So we need to do everything possible, and I want to assure the Belizean people, that even if we get the “yes” vote, we are not going to implement this legislation until we have managed to address a way where this industry will not affect the corresponding banking relationships that we have.”


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