The Ministry of Agriculture has listed “over 50 years of experience in cannabis cultivation” as #1 among the “Top 30 reasons to invest in Saint Vincent and Grenadines”.
The number one reason is the “tropical climate ideal for extra low-cost ‘outdoor’ cannabis production”, according to a Nov. 5 press release the Saboto Caesar-led ministry issued to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
The rubric of the release was “Medicinal Cannabis: St. Vincent and the Grenadines poised to become leading producer”.
The release says St. Vincent and the Grenadines “is on the brink of becoming a globally leading producer of organically certified medicinal cannabis, rivalling any other producer in the entire Western Hemisphere.”
The Vincentian parliament is expected to approve, on Nov. 20, three pieces of legislation related to the establishment of a medical marijuana industry in SVG.
The release said the expected passing of the legislation will ensure that “tightly regulated guidelines” position the nation as a powerful Caribbean hub for global medicinal cannabis innovation.
“SVG Minister of Agriculture, Industry, Fisheries, Forestry, Labour and Rural Transformation Hon. Saboto Caesar said the industry had the potential to positively transform rural livelihoods and communities while changing the lives of patients who suffer from medical conditions that are unresponsive to other treatments,” the release said.
It quoted Caesar as saying: “The production of cannabis for medicinal purposes provides an excellent opportunity for Small Island States to further diversify possibilities for farmers to secure sustainable livelihoods.”
The minister is reported as saying that “the Government would have more to say with the passing of legislation later this month, but was now putting the world’s investors on notice for the top thirty benefits for investing in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Engrained in Vincentian history, from the rich volcanic soils to the warm tropical climate, SVG presents the perfect opportunity for cannabis investment. These are, arguably, the top 30 competitive advantages,” the release said.
Marijuana was also number three on the list, which said the country has “More than 2000 traditional cannabis farmers”.
Marijuana featured several times more on the list, which also noted the significant investment in the education of the nation’s citizens, amidst the government’s celebrated education revolution, which among other things, aims to have an average of one university graduate per household by 2020.
The list, which in fact gave 33 reasons, said unique strains of domestically produced cannabis are available for scientific research and development (#22).
It also said the country has a “well-staffed and trained ‘Modern Cannabis Authority’ to ensure effective/efficient regulations” (#27), although this authority is expected to come into effect after the passage of the law.
Points #29, 30, and 32 on the list also spoke directly to the cannabis industry while others hinted at it.
The full list is published below:
- Tropical climate ideal for extra low-cost ‘outdoor’ cannabis production.
- Over 50 years of experience in cannabis cultivation.
- More than 2000 traditional cannabis farmers.
- Decades of experience in high-quality agriculture commercial production and export.
- Availability of arable lands.
- Rich volcanic soil suitable for producing high quality agriculture products
- International air and sea port connections.
- Significant investment in education thus creating a working age population that is ready to embrace and support development of this type.
- Highly trained workers in modern agricultural technology.
- 365 days of efficient water supply.
- An exotic tourism location, with 32 islands and cays, and over a quarter million cruise ship passenger visits forecasted for 2019.
- Multimillion-dollar state investments in green energy:
- 10-Megawatt Geothermal Plant
- Solar Energy
- Hydro Energy.
- Experience in certification of Fairtrade, HACCP, ISO’s, Global GAP and EurepGAP existing.
- Certification in GMP, FSMA, BRC, GPP and GAP by May 2019.
- Movement toward 100% organic production in agriculture, which begun with a total ban on all glyphosate products including ‘Round Up’, Glyphos and ‘Touchdown.’
- A stable Investment environment.
- Stable currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar pegged to the USD.
- Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
- Unique strains of domestically produced Cannabis available for scientific research and development.
- A history of, and continuous full compliance will all International narcotics treaties and conventions.
- Simple guidelines for licensing, monitoring, production and export.
- Well-crafted legislation aimed at providing full accountability: unique opportunities for investment and draws on recent changes in the global cannabis industry.
- Fiscal incentives to reduce startup cost for investors.
- Well-staffed and trained ‘Modern Cannabis Authority’ to ensure effective/efficient regulations.
- Opportunities to invest in other non-cannabis sectors such as tropical agriculture, tourism and other emerging markets.
- Medicinal cannabis healthcare products and services would be accessible in SVG.
- Cannabis is likely to be VAT exempted since it is an agricultural commodity.
- An established national bio-pesticide, bio-fertilizer production platform to support organic cannabis production.
- At least 10% of all cannabis raw material for processing must be bought from traditional farmers.
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines maintains a politically stable environment.