The Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BCLA), Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight says despite the setbacks of COVID-19, the Mia Mottley led administration is moving ahead with plans to develop a medicinal cannabis industry.
Speaking with Barbados Today, Munro-Knight said challenges of the pandemic aside, interest in the lucrative industry remains extremely high among prospective investors, who will be able to submit applications and proposals as early as January.
She added that the greatest interest is being shown by international investors, but stressed that locals should not be discouraged by the perceived high costs associated with the sector,
According to Munro-Knight, that in some cases, the cost of licences is competitive with those in other Caribbean countries and the BCLA has been working to ensure stakeholders have full access to the industry.
”The ability to open up for applications in January happened because we have been working very hard in the preparatory phases to ensure that we have an industry that is fairly robust. Part of that is meeting with stakeholders and all the agencies that will be involved in this industry. We have held meetings with, and engaged, over 88 different agencies across Barbados, both government and others to make sure that we are reflecting and building an industry that is reflective of how people want to see it,” she said.
She added that Canadian investors, in particular, are expressing the strongest interest in the industry that is said to be still in high demand across the globe for its usefulness in the treatment of numerous mental and physical health conditions.
Munro-Knight noted that there is also growing interest in the potential for new strains of cannabis to be cultivated using the unique soil found on the island.