Chief Executive Officer (Ag.) of the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority, Senator Shanika Roberts-Odle. (BMCLA)

The Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA) has announced that two (2) licensees with a combined nine (9) licences have been approved to enter the cannabis businesses. Both licensees are Barbadian owners.

Chief Executive Officer (Ag.), Senator Shanika Roberts-Odle stated: “We are excited and very happy to have the Board approve these licences, with Cabinet’s approval. Barbados is moving towards an ambitious new industry and our strategic plan clearly sets out bold targets to fully realise the potential of this market. This first set of licences represents a new economic sector under the medicinal cannabis industry, which will drive economic diversification across existing local sectors, stimulate job and training opportunities and encourage local, regional and international investment and entrepreneurship.”

She noted that in her previous role as the Programme Administrator with responsibility for licensing and applications, that the team had worked diligently with applicants since the application portal opened on January 18, 2021.

She added that the approval of the nine (9) licences was a great step for the island’s entrance into the medicinal cannabis sector.

The nine (9) licences that were approved by the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Board are as follows:

  1. Best Buds – Cultivator – Tier 1
  2. Best Buds – Import
  3. Cleland Organics Inc. – Cultivator – Tier 2
  4. Cleland Organics Inc. – Processor – Tier 1
  5. Cleland Organics Inc. – Transport
  6. Cleland Organics Inc. – Research & Development
  7. Cleland Organics Inc. – Retail Distributor
  8. Cleland Organics Inc. – Import
  9. Cleland Organics Inc. – Export

All businesses must first pay 60 per cent of their total licence fees before their five-year licence is issued.

“The BMCLA has allowed for the payment plan for all applicants who are approved which includes a 60% upfront payment of the total fees and then the option to pay the remaining 40% of the total costs either monthly, quarterly, or annual. However, the total payment must be completed in the first three (3) years of their five-year licence. We did this to assist the licensees in their ability to pay for their licence(s) while they attend to other business costs to get their operations off the ground,” said Senator Roberts-Odle.

To date, there are more than 100 users registered at various stages with the BMCLA’s online system, with close to 20 applicants requesting 38 licences.

Senator Roberts-Odle advised that while the BMCLA worked assiduously to submit applications to the Board for approval in the four-month time frame, that it was important for people to understand the “life cycle” of applications so that they can appreciate the time it took to process and what sometimes can cause a hold-up at various stages.

Life Cycle of the Application Process

(BMCLA)

“While the application process is very intuitive, still many of the applications submitted thus far have been incomplete in some form or another. This trend has led the BMCLA Applications and Licensing team to place a number of applicants on hold, while the Communications and Public Education Department conducts educational events like the recent Open House and the Facebook Live events, alongside Application Clinics in order to pinpoint what is needed and to assist applicants,” she added.

As of June, applications going through the Life Cycle are as follows:

Application TypeSubmitted  Under ReviewIncomplete (On Hold)Pending Board ReviewTotal
Cultivator
Tier 1 – 4
342110
Processor
Tier 1 – 3
11103
Import12306
Export22206
Retail Distributor11316
Research & Development11103
Laboratory00000
Transport21104
(BMCLA)

Those interested in applying for any of the eight (8) medicinal cannabis licences to enter the industry can access the BMCLA online licensing system by clicking here.

For more information on the medicinal cannabis industry or the BMCLA, visit www.bmcla.bb

Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority

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