The government is probably weeks away from making a big leap into its quest to allow for the commercial farming and medical sale of marijuana.
The Cabinet said this week that a medical marijuana company with headquarters in Canada made an approach for the establishment of a production facility on Antigua.
This will be done on twenty-five acres of farmland, controlled by Antiguan farmers who would be trained.
The Canadian medical marijuana firm would provide US $18.7 million annually to Government in taxes, fees, licences and export duties (for every 25 acres it could harvest).
The firm indicated that its systems of extraction would allow it to yield significant quantities of oils from the strains of plants that it would instruct the farmers to grow; the oils would be bottled under controlled circumstances and exported to markets where there is a demand.
Their investment would exceed $8 million in machines and $3 million in buildings, patent use, the purchase of seeds, security of farms and other expenses.
The cabinet asked the firm’s representatives to provide a more detailed plan next Wednesday; in the meantime, 25 acres of farmland could be identified for possible cultivation by Antiguan farmers.
The firm agreed that it could collaborate with another firm which Cabinet received weeks ago.
This is not the first time that teams and individuals have made presentations to the Cabinet about establishing a firm for medical marijuana here.
In fact, just about every week, teams from Jamaica, the United States and other countries would make proposals to the government.
Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin has said that it would only be a matter of time before the government makes a decision.
Legislation to allow for the commercial farming and medical sale of marijuana products will soon be brought to Parliament.