Cannabis legislation 'expected in first quarter’ – Bahamas Tribune

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

THE Davis administration is expected to bring legislation for a cannabis industry in the first quarter of this year, Director of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister Latrae Rahming announced yesterday.

His comment came during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister when asked by a reporter for an update on the legislation.

“I’m pleased to report that we could expect legislation on the cannabis industry in the first quarter of this year,” he said. “The government in its legislative commitment has committed to ensuring that we bring legislation in the first quarter of this year.”

The government said it would introduce a “regulatory framework” for the cannabis industry and to expunge the records of young people convicted of minor offences related to use of the drug as part of its five-year legislative agenda.

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, while in opposition, expressed full support for both issues and said back in 2020 the Minnis administration should have already addressed the issue of legalising marijuana and expunging the records of people convicted for possessing small amounts.

“The time has long passed for us to address this issue of legalisation of marijuana and expunging the record of persons who would have had a record for small amounts,” Mr Davis said previously.

“That would be something that the Progressive Liberal Party embrace(s).

“That is something that we urge the government to do as quickly as possible that they ought to by now have lived up to their promise to that segment of our demographic who have been saddled with records for convictions for small amounts of marijuana that is inhibiting and prohibiting their ability to be full participants in our country, particularly in the workplace.”

In 2020, then Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis promised to have the relevant bill brought to Parliament by January 2021.

In May 2021, then Attorney General Carl Bethel said once approved by Cabinet, marijuana legislation would be introduced to Parliament before the end of the budget year. However, that did not happen.

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