Although the government has not decided on the decriminalization of marijuana in The Bahamas, products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are legal, according to Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands.
“Is it legal? Yes, it is legal. However, you would need to have an import license,” Sands said when asked by reporters just before the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday.
“So, the existing framework allows for CBD to be imported with the approval of the Bahamas Pharmaceutical Council and the Ministry of Health. There have been no applications to my knowledge for approval.”
Sands was asked directly if CBD was legal in The Bahamas after Guardian Business noticed hair products sold in a local pharmacy that contain CBD.
A representative from that pharmacy confirmed to Guardian Business that the company is aware of the product being sold in its stores.
Sands was not asked about that specific product, but about hair products containing CBD in general.
“The question of a hair product would not fall under the Pharmacy Act and so I’m sure that now that CBD is the cure all for everything, like aloe was at one point, that you are going to see a lot of things now with CBD and other cannabis-related products,” he said.
The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids, the most well-known being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can cause a feeling of being high.
However, research has found that other cannabinoids such as CBD will not induce a feeling of being high and can be used to treat medical ailments.
According to the Dangerous Drugs Act it is illegal to import Indian hemp, which “includes all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not from which the resin has not been extracted; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant or resin”.
When asked if the hair product sold locally would be in contravention of the Dangerous Drugs Act, Sands said, “I don’t know whether a hair treatment would be contrary to the Dangerous Drugs Act; that would be up to the attorney general to determine whether or not it is indeed illegal, but I don’t think that it is.”
In July the CARICOM Regional Commission on Marijuana recommended the declassification of marijuana as a dangerous drug in all legislation and the reclassification of the drug as a controlled substance, as noted in its report presented at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government Meeting.
After returning from that meeting, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the government would establish a committee to embark on an educational campaign and gauge public opinion before the matter is debated in Parliament.