Letters

Time to get the Bahamian cannabis industry started

Dear Editor,

The economy is reopening again.

(Insert appropriate reaction here).

Now let’s talk about money.

The Public Treasury is on its last legs, the economy is at a virtual standstill and The Bahamas needs to kickstart itself again, “quick, fast and in a hurry”.

Thankfully, there are viable options, even in these COVID-19 times.

Once The Bahamas decriminalizes cannabis, our dwindling foreign currency reserves can be restored practically overnight, and instead of racking up debt, we will completely eliminate it.

(A special note to those who are of the mistaken opinion that it will take a while to form a local cannabis industry: infrastructure is already in place that can be activated immediately due to the cannabis industry’s reach globally.)

Commissions and committees are great, but their collective processes are too slow. Right now, we don’t have time to talk it out. We need to get the Bahamian cannabis industry started now to maximize the financial and societal benefits.

The longer we wait, the more investors we lose. Besides, who wants to invest in a jurisdiction that can make billions in the global cannabis industry, but doesn’t appear to have the knowledge base or overall level of awareness to see that cannabis is a perfect fit for the nation?

(A glimpse of our organizational plans to assist the ministries of health, agriculture and fisheries, public works, national security, finance and social services through the development of a robust cannabis industry can be found on my Facebook feed, by the way.)

It is time to define The Bahamas’ reputation on the cannabis global stage as a major market leader.

We have an opportunity to completely avoid the mistakes that other jurisdictions have made, while simultaneously improving upon related processes at an exponential rate.

Of course, The Bahamas’ geographic location is strategic due to our proximity to the US, and with our proposed cannabis pre-clearance facility, we will have direct market integration through Florida, which opens up opportunities for lab testing, storage, remediation and more.

When The Bahamas decriminalizes cannabis, all of these strategic plans can be activated immediately.

The cannabis industry will help our nation by injecting huge sums of cash into the treasury, in addition to being a key catalyst towards building a new Bahamas.

This new Bahamas will feature sustainable small island state development in the areas of food, clothing, construction, medication and energy (FCCME).

It will be a move towards self-sustainability that, at its minimal functionality, will be able to reduce import percentages drastically.

Less money going out of the nation for imports, while we attract foreign direct investment and build local industry to meet our needs, is a combination that makes for a sound national strategy.

The Bahamian cannabis industry must assert itself as a superior evolution of its former illicit self in the sector, and needs to eliminate the current reputation of being labeled as a trafficking nation.

We have the potential to be the leading global case study of a country that uses technology to track cannabis passing through our secured pre-clearance facilities, from seed to sale.

These systems will set standardized protocols that potentially can be licensed to UN nations as a certification for the international transportation of cannabis.

The US and The Bahamas can split such a contract 50/50. That is a multibillion-dollar concept that is ready and waiting to be implemented. The agility of decriminalization will make this possible,

Due to the billions of dollars of cannabis that illegally have passed through this nation in its short lifespan thus far, it makes sense for The Bahamas to grasp the present opportunity to shift accordingly to a legitimate regime and to develop this new industry in a way that outlines global security standards.

At the same time, we will facilitate the development of industrial cannabis standards for the rest of the world by attracting the best of the best in cannabis technology in multiple sectors.

Decriminalize and together we can make it so.

– Yorick R. Brown

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