Regulated, licenced system suggested for medical marijuana approval

    Chief Medical Officer and Chair of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Marijuana Commission, Dr. Hazel Laws, says marijuana should be permitted under licence and a strict legislated regime for medical and scientific purposes.
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    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — As part of the unanimous recommendations of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Marijuana Commission, “the use of cannabis and its derivatives for medical and scientific purposes should be permitted under licence and a strict legislated regime.” According to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chair of the Commission, Dr. Hazel Laws, medical marijuana will be managed within a regulated system.

    “You would have a regulated system where you would have persons who would be registered as being able to cultivate, reap, manufacture and sell,” explained Dr. Laws. “Then the patients would be able to go to physicians who would have been trained in prescribing the cannabis medicinal products.”

    Dr. Laws said the public needs to be more educated about the recommendations with regards to medical marijuana.

    She said the Marijuana Commission recommended that persons who are ill can access marijuana medicinal products and gain help.

    “In other words, the Drug Act should be amended to allow patients who are in need of marijuana or cannabis medicinal products to access them,” said Dr. Laws. “Several considerations must be made when it comes to medical marijuana including how patients would access these medicinal products, will it be grown and manufactured locally, or will they be imported?

    “The fourth recommendation states that the regime for the use of cannabis for medical purposes should include the establishment of a medicinal licencing authority. It would regulate importation, local cultivation and production; a requirement that two tiers of practitioners must complete a requisite amount of Continuous Medical Education (CME) hours on cannabis: (i) medical practitioners for prescribable marijuana products and (ii) herbalists for non-prescribable marijuana products; a requirement that prescribable marijuana products must meet international labelling standards; and the inclusion of other components should be allowed only under advice from experts in the industry.

    “That is what the fourth recommendation is suggesting,” explained Dr. Laws. “Some of these products can be imported. However, we can allow cultivation of cannabis to support the production of cannabis medicinal products under a regulated system so not any and anybody can grow…

    “…The system would be regulated so you have specific growers, persons who are allowed to cultivate cannabis, so when it is harvested it would be sent to a centre where specific medicinal products can be produced and then put on the market for the persons to purchase. So that is what medicinal marijuana really speaks to.”

    Dr. Laws noted that there have not been any recommendations for cannabis for recreational use.

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