Equity program proposed for cannabis industry

The Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana is proposing an equity program that would allow Bahamians to acquire foreign funding for their startup cannabis businesses.

In its draft preliminary report on the decriminalization of marijuana, the commission said an equity component would ensure the country sees the full economic benefit of a cannabis industry.

“With a Bahamian-based equity industry, the country can control this new industry for the benefit of Bahamians. This will also empower its citizens to acquire foreign investment without the risk of losing control of the entity. The oldest of these models

exists in Oakland, California. Once an applicant meets the equity requirements, they are under obligation to secure their license and cannot sell more than 49 percent of the shares in their company,” the report notes.

“The equity owner must maintain a minimum of 51 percent ownership of the company or the license would be revoked. This would have far-reaching effects in the community and can bring tens of millions of dollars in investment to the city. It is proposed that a similar system be instituted here in The Bahamas that would ensure that the majority of revenue from this industry stays within Bahamian borders.”

The report also calls for the establishment of a government-appointed licensing authority or drug council which would “properly regulate all matters relating to drugs, primarily focusing on cannabis; provide requirements for operators, etc.; provide various types of Indian hemp licenses (i.e. possession by tourists, cultivation, dispensaries, pharmacies, etc); provide for the sale of Indian hemp to occur at pharmacies and dispensaries; and provide for majority ownership by Bahamians and not have it monopolized or restricted to the upper class.”

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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