The roll out of the local medicinal cannabis industry is gathering momentum with the island’s regulator expecting the first set of applications next Monday.
This follows a series of outreach programmes geared towards educating small farmers and entrepreneurs and other interested individuals about the application process and the business model being used for the various segments of the industry.
The Barbados Medical Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA) held two virtual application clinics last Friday specifically for potential licensees interested in applying for the Cultivation Tier 1, the Processor Tier 1 and the Transport categories of licences.
Individuals will be able to apply to the BMCLA 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 a period of five years with different tiers of licences carrying different prices.
Chief Executive Officer of the BMCLA Dr Shantal Munro-Knight explained that a part of the objective for the agency was to provide guidance to individuals attending the application clinics so they could have “current and concise information” related to the process to be followed.
“We also provided documents which applicants should become familiar with and we walked through the on-line application form and the additional documentation which would be necessary,” said Munro-Knight.
“It is part of our effort to allow for equal participation from every level of person who wants to be involved in the industry directly. We chose those specific categories of licences – Cultivator Tier 1 which is no more than an acre, the Processor Tier 1 which is no more than 200 square metres, and Transport Licences, because we wanted to ensure that the average person who is interested in getting involved in the industry is as informed and unencumbered as possible,” she added.
She reiterated that the BMCLA was also looking to assist by having licence fees paid in three installments over the five-year period.
Additionally, the fees will be inclusive of security checks, ongoing costs for track and trace, and other administrative costs over the five years.
While lauding some members who in attending the clinic agreed to collaborate, Munro-Knight urged others to follow their example and advised Barbadians to think about entering the industry collectively.
“If five or more average Barbadians can come together and pool together their financing or product to get into the industry and build as entrepreneurs in whatever category of licence – absolutely yes it’s accessible!” she said.
The proposed licensing cost to cultivate will be $29,700 per acre. However, there are different levels which carry different fees. A tier 2 cultivation licence is priced at $123,750; tier 3 at $99,000 per acre and tier 4 at $79,200 per acre.
In relation to 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 is $99,000, with the cost for each additional vehicle to be $14,850; export licence and import licences $5,940 each and laboratory licence and research and development licences will cost $74,250 each.
In relation to the general charges, this will include 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.
During the course of this week, the BMCLA will be hosting several “cannabis chat sessions” to provide additional information on the business model, storage, kind of vehicle and other things needed to qualify for the various tiers and licences to enter the industry. (MM/PR)