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Sweeting says Family Islands ideal for cannabis industry

While the Davis administration continues to develop legislation to legalize the cannabis industry in The Bahamas, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting said recently that the Family Islands would be ideal to support the industry.

“A lot of the land that we need is in the Family Islands,” he said.

“We don’t have enough agricultural land in New Providence to farm to what the industry can be. I think islands such as Eleuthera, Andros, Abaco and Grand Bahama have a lot of property that can be used to maximize the industry and, in turn, create opportunities for other Family Islands.”

Sweeting added that many Bahamians are already looking for agricultural land to support the cannabis industry.

“This industry can actually touch the lives of Bahamians nationwide. From a year or two ago, when the talk of marijuana came about, individuals started to scope our property themselves. It is not something the ministry was doing in regards to looking at where the property would be allocated. Our main concern now is that the legislation is done properly to ensure that all Bahamians have the opportunity to get involved and not just a select few,” he said.

Recently, it was announced that the draft for the legalization of cannabis would be completed in the first quarter of the year.

Sweeting said this would be a full effort with a number of ministries.

“The cannabis industry is not just agriculture. It works with the Ministry of Health as well as the attorney general’s office. So, we do have a skeleton legislation that we are revising. We haven’t put a timeline on it but we are looking to work on it as quickly as possible,” he said.

“My ministry is working to make sure that it gets done as efficiently as possible. Hopefully, we will see the success story of what the industry can be before five years are complete.”

The Davis administration also seeks to expunge the records of young people convicted of minor offenses related to the use of cannabis as part of its five-year legislative agenda.

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