Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority, Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight. (BMCLA)

With one fully prepared application received and 15 still in draft, the response by locals to invest in Government’s new initiative has been deemed satisfactory by the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA).

This was shared today by BMCLA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, as she updated media representatives on the status of applications for licences via a virtual press conference on the Zoom platform.

It follows the BMCLA officially opening the Medicinal Cannabis Industry on Monday, January 18, 2021, with applications being made available to local, regional and international persons.

Prior to the availability of applications, the BMCLA had hosted two virtual application clinics, on January 8, that were geared to assist small farmers/entrepreneurs through the application process.  

These were followed by a week of 90-minute cannabis chats from January 11 to January 14 that were opened to locals who wanted more in-depth information about the policies and procedures for each licence and tier, before applying.

Expressing pleasure at the response thus far, Dr. Munro-Knight said: “Starting from Monday, when we opened till this morning, we have approximately 15 applications in draft and one application fully submitted. We are very happy that the very first application fully submitted is for a Tier 1 Cultivation Licence and as well as for an Import Licence.”

Pleased that a local farmer applied for two licences, she added: “What for us is really good is, you know the suggestion that small players would not be able to get into the market and not be interested because of a number of challenges, but the very first licence that we have that is fully submitted is for a Tier 1 applicant who has applied for two licences.”

The CEO, while not going into much detail on the 15 other draft applications, noted that they could be modified because persons could change their minds or the details, but there was coverage for the majority of licences that the BMCLA had available. 

BMCLA-brochure-What-you-should-know-in-a-bud

Mrs. Munro-Knight revealed that of the eight categories to be found on BMCLA’s brochure, six of these had been applied for according to those in draft, and the fully submitted application. 

Noting that the categories of Laboratory Licence and Processor Licence had not yet been filled, she said the organisation remained “confident” that those would be filled.

“So, just for clarity, therefore, we have had application for cultivation, but let me say again those are in draft, the majority of those are in Tier 1 Cultivation, so outside of the one that has been submitted, the majority of those other applications for Cultivation are actually in Tier 1. We also have applications for Retail Distributor, Transport, Research and Development and also Import and Export.”

She thanked the BMCLA team members for their support and for providing the information, so that persons could feel confident in applying.

“So, we are very, very happy for that.  But we are still continuing our efforts and engagement to ensure that everybody has all the information necessary,” she said.

Anticipating further applicants, the CEO pointed out that a number of resources were  available to them, and urged interested persons to visit BMCLA’s website, to peruse the  Regulations, the Act, the Application handbook; the FAQ document, and a number of guidelines relating to security; research and development; import and export; retail distribution, among others.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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