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A marijuana plant in St. Vincent. (iWN file photo)
A marijuana plant in St. Vincent. (iWN file photo)
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The Unity Labour Party has outlined another option that it says would not have been opened to the Vincentian economy had it not been for the Argyle International Airport, which celebrated its first anniversary on Feb. 14.

“Without Argyle International, you couldn’t be dealing with the export of medical marijuana,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a rally on Saturday night to celebrate the anniversary.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is in the discussion phase of setting up a medical marijuana industry.

The government is expected to ask Parliament to approve in March a bill that will decriminalise marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Gonsalves told the rally that exporting medical cannabis, there are some countries that may want the marijuana buds, but others want the extracts.

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“But hear me this. Barbados ain’t supporting that. St. Lucia ain’t going there or Grenada. So if you have to send it to Canada, where Canada has said yes to medical marijuana, how are you going to in transit?

“If you didn’t have an international airport, what plane you going put them pon (on)? … We could only have gotten to talk about a medical marijuana industry for export, to sell the oils to Canada and I understand you can sell the bud there too, in England, I have been advised, is only the oils….

“I want everybody to understand that without Argyle International Airport, you couldn’t have an export medical marijuana industry,” he said.

Argyle International Airport. (iWN photo)

The prime minister said that the industry for medical marijuana is one that the country has to address very carefully.

He said that in the United States, it is a federal offence to be in possession of marijuana although medicinal marijuana is legal in 20 states.

“But even in those states where you have the medical marijuana legal, you can’t put the money inside of a bank because the banks are controlled, regulated by the federal government out of Washington [,DC].”

He said that because the federal government in Canada has made the medical marijuana legal, persons in the trade are able to use the banking system there.

“You see why it is important to say we have to move carefully and regulate it properly? You understand me?” the prime minister said, adding that he has heard the talk that SVG should be marketed as “Sea, sand and weed”.

“One of the problems you will have is whether if you do it like that, that the payment could be made on the credit cards through American banks. Maybe, maybe not. You see why this thing you have to think it out carefully?

“So when I hear Patel Matthew and Israel Bruce say free up the weed completely, we are not an island unto ourselves,” the prime minister said.

Matthews, an opposition lawmaker, who is also Parliamentary Representative for North Leeward, and Bruce, a lawyer and opposition candidate for South Central Windward, has announced their support for decriminalisation of small portions of marijuana for recreational use.

Gonsalves said:

“We have to move in a sensible and tactical manner.”

He told the rally that reaching a destination is not always via a straight line, although the shortest distance between two places, geometrically, is along a straight line.”

He said that the government should receive, by next week, the draft on the medical marijuana bill.

Officials will then study it in the government and consult with stakeholders and make changes and get it back to the draftsman and then “when we believe it is in the state of readiness to put it to the public, we will put it there and see if we can get it in time for Parliament for March 22 so that we can have the debates through the select committee,” the prime minister said.

16 replies on “Export medical weed industry impossible without AIA — PM”

  1. Next he will say that there would be no second coming of Jesus Christ without AIA where He would make his first return appearance at a ULP rally!

    1. I live in Canada….weed is absolutely NOT legal here yet! The government wanted to do so by June 2018 but has yet to figure out regulations for controlling the substance. The weed that is grown here and exported out is a joke as it is grown in a lab by so called scientists at an extremely low grade quality! Fact of the matter is the best weed is the illegal weed.

    2. Based on what you say and what Pam, from Canada has written it is apparent that we cannot even trust our Prime Minister to tell us the truth about even the si,plist facts. I will bet the farm that what he says about weed and the US banks is also “fart”.
      I suppose we should not believe anything that comes out of Gonsalves’ mouth!

  2. It is confirmed through diplomatic and economic official sources that a deal is being sort after and being constructed with the government of SVG to supply medical Marijuana to Canada.
    After obtaining this product Canada can turn around and export it back on a retail level at a higher markup to other countries or companies around the world. It’s business experience economics 101 Ben . America do off shores productions or manufacturing to export all the time and actually more so than the alternative.

    1. AL and C.ben two pretend people who simply do not know a thing about what they write here, absolute nonsense.

      I you want to use pretend names , even steal someone else’s identity, you simply do not qualify to talk

    2. I do not think anything that may, in the future come from SVG will be cheap enough for a developed country like Canada to import and then turn around and export at a profit. Because of our high-taxed destroyed economy it is prohibitively expensive to produce anything here. That is why we do not export. Our politicians have proven to be too greedy.

      1. The NDP fanatics on here make me smile and I’m not even a political party supporter. I’m a champion of peace and unity FYI …. Some of you vote but don’t even know what you represent or voting for, what policies do your representatives represent, know what you voting for and not just for fame or tradition sake . Stop coming on these forums to chastise ppl because they don’t believe in what you believe in, state your point or views and keep it moving.

  3. Even if everything else is they say is correct, still the AIA is not a requirement. The seaports are still open and cargo ships go back and forth. Hence the utter foolishness of the assertion that without AIA none of this would be possible. But then, I suppose with God, Ralph and the AIA all things are possible. Just believe!

      1. Yes, because we know the dried ganja will spoil in a few days, unlike banana that can last years without spoiling isn’t that right AI, who has NO political preference. This is all possible because God gave us Gonsalves and the Boy Wonder is comparable to Jesus!

  4. It is amazing how much emphasis is now being placed on medical marijuana in SVG like it is the next gold mine. What we are failing to realize is that marijuana, whether used for medicinal or recreational purposes, is still a drug that is illegal around the world, including the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, you are interested in producing and exporting it, however you are refusing to make it legal in your country? That does not make any sense. It seems that this government is not interested in anything that they cannot have a direct control over. What about the farmers (Ganja farmers) and how would they be involved? Nothing is being said about, which said that the growing of the marijuana in this country will be done in a control environment by some government appointed entity. What about our traditional farming and farmers, what is the government doing to develop agriculture again in this country? I was in Brooklyn the other day and picked up a nice good sized dash, since I haven’t had some dash to eat in a while. When I got the counter, the cashier told me $7.99USD for one single small dash. Right away my mind ran on my country and how much we can capitalize on this market for a produce that is rightfully legal for export to the U.S. But I don’t hear anyone talking about that. Keep the people hungry and dependent on the government and you will control them. But nothing last forever!

    1. Such nonsense with all due respect my brother….. Blame the Clinton’s and by the way have you heard of NAFTA and The EU do your research food for thought, also for all Caribbean countries and most small developing countries around the world do you know what their primary means of economic revenue is?? TOURISM and for most of them the ONLY source revenue
      Also do some research on how medical Marijuana is grown. I do understand the fundamentals of your point and that’s why the Caribbean countries on a whole need to unit as one body or currency to defeat or stand up to the bigger economic nations like the USA and Europe China but this is very unlikely to happen because we waste time arguing about simple and irrelevant things and hate to see our brothers and sisters succeed plus the white man is always there ready to buyout one of us to sabotage the movement just like they did some few decades ago when Barbados Jamaica and Trinidad was arguing about which of them will be the capital state if a unity Caribbean currency was established . Know your history to know where you want to go !!!

    2. Yes, Brown Boy, there still are a few things that have to be thought out about the industry. i am most concerned about the security of growing Ganja and people getting shot and robed. Pay no attention to AI, I think his extreme ULP bias has blinded him to the real world, he is the one talking nonsense not you!

  5. Why don’t we try growing some food so we stop importing all the canned processed stuff that is causing so many health problems in a country without a zero health care system?

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