(Photo Credit: Internet Source)
Government is moving ahead with plans to legalize medical marijuana in the Territory, this was made clear by mention that legislation to further talks of a BVI medical marijuana sector will be developed.
The announcement was made by Governor Augustus Jaspert in his presentation of the Speech from the Throne that was delivered in the House of Assembly on Thursday, November 14.
“Our government will seek to develop the legislative framework to allow for the production and sale of medical marijuana. Through legislation there would be an increase in economic resilience in the Territory among many other positive medicinal benefits,” His Excellency announced.
As recent as August Minister with responsibility for Agriculture, Dr. The Hon. Natalio Wheatley while speaking to farmers at a meeting mentioned a number of initiatives being considered to boost the industry and mentioned medical marijuana as one of the options.
This was not the first time Hon. Wheatley had spoken of medical marijuana.
While putting the suggestion to the farmers, the Minister said, "Marijuana has a stigma attached to it and lots of misinformation attached to it."
However, he noted that various medical reports and stories are proclaiming that this herb can do wonders.
"All over the world persons are coming to the realization that marijuana has medical benefits that at this point cannot be denied. There is too much research confirming it. Marijuana has medical benefits and the world is discovering the medical benefits of marijuana to the point where you could have a little jar, a little vial, very small, tiny what they call CBD oil that would go for about $60 to $80. Just a little vial, because this thing is healing cancer, asthma, epilepsy; all types of different ailments," he pointed out.
In further explaining why it is essential that medical marijuana be considered, Hon. Wheatley noted that research has been done at various levels.
"There are countless stories of the medicinal value of marijuana. Now everything can be misused and abused, but God provided these plants for the healing of the nation and once used properly they are a benefit; and persons have become to realize the benefits of marijuana; and because it is in such great demand -- its a very lucrative area to go into," Hon. Wheatley stated.
The Minister pointed out that the BVI has a need to diversify its economy and stated that there is not enough money to invest in major agriculture projects at the moment. However, Hon. Wheatley said that revenue from a successful medical marijuana industry can be used to propel the agriculture sector.
"When I look at the Agriculture Department, one of the things that is striking is the lack of money in it...I have identified the marijuana production as a means of being able to generate revenue and to even help us with our crop and livestock programme," he added.