As part of the Medicinal Cannabis Authority’s (MCA) mandate to regulate the medicinal cannabis industry, the MCA provided the public with a status update amidst the challenges of COVID-19 and those associated with developing a modern, well-regulated, export-oriented industry.
A media tour was conducted on Monday, 14th September, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. at the Medicinal Cannabis Authority’s Headquarters at Rivulet/Enhams. There was a brief ceremony at the MCA’s Headquarters chaired by Dr. Jerrol Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of the MCA. In his opening remarks, Dr. Thompson took the opportunity to highlight several milestones which have been achieved thus far by the MCA:
- Establishing a legal correspondent banking framework to transfer funds internationally;
- MCA’s collaboration with the leading seed-to-sale company in Canada, Ample Organics, towards the development of a National Cannabis Tracking System;
- Construction of a state-of-the-art Analytical Service Provider laboratory facility, which will provide testing services to all aspects of the industry, and;
- Patient access to Medicinal Cannabis regulations which became operational on 6th May, 2020.
Dr. Jerrol Thompson
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, Hon. Saboto Caesar was also present and gave remarks. He praised the MCA for ensuring that traditional cultivators remain at the centre of the industry and noted that SVG has attracted many foreign direct investors who have been working hard to advance the industry in SVG despite the pandemic.
Hon. Saboto Caesar
Immediately following the ceremony, media personnel had the opportunity to visit the Analytical Service Provider Facility (Cannabis Testing Laboratory) located at Rivulet/Enhams. The tour continued with visits to several cannabis operational sites and processing plants on the windward side of the country.
Speaking at the construction site of a manufacturing facility for Medicinal Cannabis, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mr. Terral Mapp emphasized that the medicinal cannabis industry is multi-dimensional and inclusive. He also remarked that the industry is not just solely focusing on the cultivation of cannabis, but encompasses value addition through processing, research, dispensing and exporting. In addition, Mr. Mapp pointed out that significant investments are not only being made by foreign investors, but more importantly, there are also major local players.
As it relates to inclusivity, Mr. Mapp highlighted that, traditional cultivators are not only obtaining licences, but some are finding employment on farms as Master Growers; while women and youths are being gainfully employed. This he said, speaks well for the country’s thrust towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) of economic growth, decent work and gender equality.
SOURCE: Medicinal Cannabis Authority