By Demion McTair. Updated 4:49 p.m., Thursday, August 3, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has given a private investor the go-ahead to establish the country’s first marijuana pharmacy, from which persons with several ailments, including cancers can benefit.
Trinidadian businessman Johnny Soong is the man who will start operations of the pharmacy.
In a release, the Medicinal Cannabis Authority states that there are some 20 “qualifying medical conditions” for which patients can access medicinal cannabis in St Vincent and the Grenadines under the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Act 2018, Trinidad Express reports.
These include pain associated with cancer, severe and treatment-resistant nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, sickle cell anaemia, anxiety, sleep disorders and chronic pain, the release states.
There is also provision for any other illness or condition to be incorporated as a qualifying medical condition upon declaration by the minister, acting on the advice of the Medicinal Cannabis Advisory Council.
The release states that Green Lava, the company owned by Trinidadian businessman Soong, has signed agreements with two local traditional cultivators groups in St. Vincent to procure raw cannabis product from their farms to make available in its dispensary.
Green Lava Labs, is the first company to begin legal cannabis cultivation in St Vincent. The company has been in existence for a year.
It is not clear exactly when the pharmacy will come into operation.
In a telephone interview with the Trinidad Express, Soong said “Our goal is really to make the Caribbean a destination point for good medical cannabis”.
He said this is a young industry but it is one that will boom and diversify economies, Trinidad Express reports.
“Just imagine how much millions is spent on foreign exchange just on the black market industry in Trinidad. How much is being imported into this country from other places in the world…we certainly not growing that in Trinidad, what people are partaking in is not coming from Trinidad. So think about the millions of dollars in foreign exchange,” Mr. Soong told the Trinidad Express.
Soong has cannabis operations also in Suriname and Jamaica, Trinidad Express reports.