As debate on the development of a medical industry continues in Barbados, the local insurance industry is keeping a close eye on the developments.
However, President of the General Insurance Association of Barbados Goulbourne Alleyne told Barbados TODAY no decision has yet been taken on how insurance companies here would get involved.
“It is one that we have to discuss as an association as to how we will approach that,” said Alleyne.
The Mia Mottley administration is currently contemplating a framework for the implementation of a medical cannabis industry in Barbados.
In fact, Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic recently announced that based on recommendations, five cannabis-based prescription drugs would be added to the drug formulary.
For recreational use of the drug, Government said a referendum would have to be taken among the population.
While Government is yet to make legislative changes to allow for the build-out and regulation of the industry, several interest groups, including the University of the West Indies (UWI), the African Heritage Foundation (AHF) and the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) have been sharing their views on the issue.
When asked about the position of insurance companies on the touted industry, Alleyne said: “From what we have been seeing, that is supposed to be a big industry going forward.”
However, he told Barbados TODAY while they were aware of the discussions, it was yet to come up for debate among members of the organisation and therefore insurance industry officials were not yet in a position to say how it would impact on their business or what level of insurance they were prepared to offer.
“I can’t comment too much on it yet because it is something new. The association has to discuss it as a body and come up with a position on it,” maintained Alleyne.
Since the announcement of the introduction of a marijuana industry here last year, the BRSA and the AHF have been calling for more education on the matter, while UWI officials have been pointing to the economic benefits.
And while the AHF has been calling for a portion of marijuana to be made legal for recreational and sacramental use, the BRSA has been cautioning authorities against “rushing” to implement a cannabis industry in Barbados, pointing out that as with alcohol, more people may be put in peril from those drug users who take to the roads while impaired. [email protected]