by Linda Straker
- NNP bill to decriminalise cannabis removed from Order Paper following dissolution of Parliament in May 2022
- 12-member commission on cannabis legalisation and regulation chaired by Rolanda McQueen
- Governor General announced economic initiative in Throne Speech
Businesswoman Rolanda McQueen has been appointed as the Chairman of a 12-member Commission on Cannabis Legalisation and Regulation whose task includes holding consultations with the public as Government seeks to develop a framework for the legalisation of cannabis in Grenada.
The legalisation of cannabis is one of the economic initiatives Government is seeking to make a reality during the first session of the 11th Parliament. That was announced by Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade when she presented the Throne Speech during the opening of Parliament.
A news release from the Ministry of Agriculture said the Commission is mandated to hold broad-based consultations and engage in public awareness on the policy decision to legalise cannabis. The release further outlined, “Prepare a final report with advice on the design of a new legislative and regulatory framework to legalise cannabis within a legal and regulatory framework for its production and sale; Develop the cannabis industry for medicinal benefits, and maximise the potential of hemp and its by-products for export.”
The Commission will also provide recommendations on the institutional structure for the implementation of the provisions of the legislation to legalise cannabis within a legal and regulatory framework in keeping with the policy decision of the Government.
The first meeting of the Commission was held on 20 September 2022. The members include working experts and people with a background in law, medicine, religion, business, and youth development. They are expected to complete the assessment and present findings and recommendations no later than 14 months, or by August 2023.
The other members of the Commission are:
- Vincent Roberts
- Kennedy Roberts
- Anslem Clouden, representing the Ministry of Legal Affairs
- Janis Lessey
- Alison Haynes, Chief Agronomist
- A representative of the Ministry of Health/Medical Council
- A representative of the Rastafarian religious community
- Irwin Henry, Chief Analytical Chemist Produce Chemist Laboratory
- Superintendent Vannie Curwen representing the Royal Grenada Police Force
- Community representatives from Civil Society Organisations and the Grenada Conference of Churches
- The Minister and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Agriculture and Lands, Forestry Fisheries and Co-operatives are ex-officio members of the Commission
The former New National Party (NNP) administration had concluded a series of consultations about cannabis. A bill was presented to Parliament to decriminalise cannabis use for recreational and religious purposes. Though the Bill was laid in the Lower House of Parliament it was never debated and was removed from the Order Paper following the dissolution of Parliament in May 2022.