Some food stores and health shops in Barbados are said to have started selling products containing cannabis extracts, despite no changes to the law prohibiting cannabis use.
And Minister of Health Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic has revealed that the Bridgetown stores that are guilty would be warned and made to feel the full weight of the law if they continued.
Bostic made the revelation during the opening of a training session for health care providers on Therapeutic Prescribing of Medicinal Marijuana Products at the Cave Hill School of Business and Management on Tuesday, where he announced that five medical cannabis products would be added to the drug formulary.
“We have been made aware that there are some stores in Bridgetown that are already selling these products, but let me say that we will issue a warning during this week, a reminder of the law,” said Bostic.
“After that we will enforce the law in its fullest to ensure that such persons come to a Christian understanding of right and wrong,” he added.
The Health Minister did not give details, but one source told Barbados TODAY that it was food stores and health shops that have been selling some of the cannabis-based products including CDB oil, and they have been doing so for some time. There is also speculation that pharmacies have also been selling the product, which is made from cannabis.
However, when Barbados TODAY reached out to some health shops and pharmacies they denied having such products for sale while others opted not to comment.
“I can tell you that there were food stores and individuals in health shops, who were in possession of CBD oils. Not pharmacies, but people with food stores,” said the source.
“The Barbados Drug Service and the inspectors at the Barbados Drug Service are aware and are putting the necessary things in place to correct that because it is still a violation of the laws of Barbados and pharmacists would never engage in that type of thing. We would like the police and various persons to address it because the laws have not yet been changed,” the source added.
During the start of the two-day workshop, Bostic told the participants there had to be training and certification before anyone could prescribe or dispense medical cannabis products.
“Another question too, is what happens in a year or two, will there be continuous training as the industry develops and more information is made available through research and other things?
“So we need to be able to keep this going as part of a continuous medical education and I also believe that the University of the West Indies (UWI) needs to look at this workshop and make it bigger and better and make it not only available to Barbados but to other parts of the Caribbean, and to continue with the training so that we can be assured that we have all the bases covered as the industry develops,” Bostic recommended.
Government will also be required to make amendments to existing legislation.
Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI, Cave Hill Campus Professor Eudine Barriteau promised that the learning institution would continue to carry out research and help to educate the public on the issue.
“While we await the necessary legislative changes that this campus has been calling for since 2016 . . . that will create an enabling environment to facilitate this critical research, we are however, pressing ahead with our objective through collaborative international partnerships,” she said.
She said the university officials have also been using their expertise to envision what an “efficient and sustainable regional policy framework for medical cannabis” should look like.