Individuals and companies seeking to cash in on the medical cannabis industry here will have to fork out tens of thousands of dollars for licences depending on their area of interest.
This is outlined in the schedules of the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Regulations 2020, signed off on October 5, by Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir and Chairman of the board of the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority, Anthony Bryan.
Individuals will be able to apply to the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority for licences for research and development, laboratory work, import and export, transportation, cultivation, processing, and retail distribution.
It is proposed that each licence will last for five years.
The application fees for the laboratory licence are proposed at $9,900, while the research and development licence, retail distributor licence and processor licence are to cost $5,940 each. The others are priced at $1,980 each.
Regarding the licensing fees, the proposed cost to cultivate will be $29,700 per acre. However, there are different levels established which carry different fees: a tier 2 cultivation licence is priced at $123,750 per acre; tier 3 at $99,000 per acre and tier 4 at $79,200 per acre.
With regard to the processor’s licence, tier 1 goes for $148,500; tier 2 for $742,500 and tier 3 stands at $990,000.
The fee for the retail distributor licence will be $148,500; the transport licence for a single vehicle $99,000, with the cost for each additional vehicle to be $14,850; export licence and import licence $5,940 each and laboratory licence and research and development licence will cost $74,250 each.
According to the Medical Cannabis Industry regulation, there will also be some general charges including a $297 re-inspection fee and a cost of $497 to issue a certified copy of a licence and to issue a certified replacement of a licence.
In order for applications to be processed, applicants will have to sign several forms including a “permission to seize and destroy” form, which indicates that the applicant accepts and authorizes the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority to seize and destroy any medicinal cannabis or cannabis products on the premises for which a licence has been revoked, suspended or expired.
Applicants will also have to indicate how they will fund their planned medical cannabis operation, as well as share a bit of financial history of their company.
Licences will only be applicable to the particular premises or vehicle for which it is issued and may be revoked for breach of stipulated conditions.
The regulation, which outlines the application procedures and requirements for all categories of licence, makes provision for penalties of up to $500,000 and jail time for violations of the terms and conditions.
Before a licence is approved and issued, the authority is expected to carry out an inspection of the premises from which the applicant will operate or inspect the vehicle to be used to transport cannabis or medicinal cannabis products.
Applicants will be notified of the date and time of the inspection.
According to the law, the Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority “shall monitor, regulate and electronically track each premises or vehicle subject to a licence as well as each cannabis plant or each medicinal cannabis product to ensure that all cannabis regulated by the authority can be accounted for by the authority”.
It also makes provision for the licensing authority to ask a licencee to test any cannabis or medicinal cannabis product and submit the results to the authority.