Since the application process was opened five days ago, there has been a full application with the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA), of which 15 were “in draft” according to officials.
This happened when the chairman of the board of the BMCLA, Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, revealed that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had thrown some of the wind out of plans for the development of the local medical cannabis industry here.
She announced that while several developments were still going on, the pandemic had caused some international investors to lose interest after having “lots of energy” after COVID-19.
“At the same time, we are also seeing another trend in which there are investors who are interested but are not on site but work through local agents. So we’ve seen this model popping up in the context of this COVID environment, ”she said.
The pandemic has also resulted in community outreach programs for an open application clinic and a forum for service providers being postponed to highlight the value chain for the industry.
Munro-Knight added, “One of the great initiatives we had before the second wave of COVID was to hold and welcome an investor meeting. We had planned to invite international investors and we had actually gone out and assessed the interest, then meeting local potential small investors in the industry for a bit of match-up and peering.
“I have to say the international investors were very excited and ready to get involved. This is something we would have envisioned to be made face to face for them to do their pitch. So we’re trying to figure out how we can still do that in this environment, ”she added.
Munro-Knight added, “One of the other things was training – when the COVID [second wave] Had this not happened, we would have had a master breeder on the island in Barbados who would have worked with potential investors, giving them advice and holding demonstrations for them. We’re still trying to do that by moving this to an online forum. “
Regarding the applications, Munro-Knight said the completed application included both an import license and a Tier 1 cultivation license – the cheaper cultivation license that has an application fee of $ 1,980 and a license fee of $ 29,700 per acre.
“This person applied for two licenses. But what is really good for us is the suggestion that small players may not enter the market or be interested due to a number of challenges, but the very first one [application] What we have is fully submitted and applies to a Tier 1 applicant who applied for two licenses, ”she said.
Munro-Knight chose not to say too much about the applications in the draft, but said that a brief analysis revealed that there were six categories of licenses – research and development, import, export, transportation, cultivation, and retail distribution .
“So we only have one lab and one processor so far that we haven’t seen applications for, but we are confident that these will be completed,” she said, adding that most of the applications for cultivation were for Tier 1.
Munro-Knight noted that despite the pandemic, the BMCLA is continuing its public relations work and said a number of initiatives are still planned, including the development of a traceability system, which officials wanted to put in place by the end of next month.
“With this system we can monitor and track every single input in the industry. . . Everyone has to enter their information into the track and trace so that we can monitor what is happening in the industry, not only to see when there is a security problem, but also to see what is moving the most. ” She said.
She said BMCLA is also working closely with the Barbados National Standards Institution to develop “very strict and comprehensive” standards and the TVET Council to provide training and certification in cultivation, as well as the University of West Indies and the Department of Agriculture for value chain areas .
The application time for the approval and issue of the license should not exceed four months. (MM)