President of the Barbados Pharmaceutical Society (BPS), Paul Gibson, is joining Minister of Health Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic in calling on shops to immediately cease the practice of selling marijuana-based products.
Applauding Government’s decision to loosening some of its controls on medical marijuana products by adding some to the national drug formulary, Gibson is calling for greater public awareness on the new parameters of medical marijuana usage. Gibson told Barbados TODAY that his organisation is concerned that some persons in the public may run away with the notion that it is now a free for all when it comes to the use and sale of cannabis by-products.
“That process has started when the Minister turned the key, but the gate has not yet been opened. The Minister is making sure that everything is in place first so that it could be done properly. I am very concerned that at the moment there are many persons bringing in CDB oils into the country and they may or may not know that at the moment it is illegal,” said Gibson.
He added, “Everybody needs to stop and follow the law. There is only one gate to come through and that is the law. My concern is that there needs to be more awareness because we have to make sure that the processes are followed.”
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, the society president revealed that the industry in Barbados is fully prepared to safely usher in the use of medical marijuana. Gibson, who is also the Opposition spokesperson on health, also expressed satisfaction with the pace at which Government was moving, as it relates to the rollout of medical marijuana.
“The pharmaceutical society is fully involved from the standpoint that we are informed as it relates to the pathology, pharmacokinetics [how the body processes drugs], storage, as well as the laws and mechanisms. This is something that we are accustomed to working with in terms of medicines,” he stressed.
In keeping with its manifesto pledge, Government has approved five marijuana-based drugs to be added to the drug formulary.
This means the drug service will soon be in a position to procure those medications and doctors will be able to prescribe them. The next drug formulary is due April 2020.
Bostic did not disclose the names of the new drugs but said the approvals, granted more than a week ago, was a critical step in the development of a medical cannabis industry.
Bostic said that it was found that the law governing the drug formulary already allowed for the prescribing and dispensing of medical marijuana and therefore “there was no need to change the law”.