Pending further research on the proposed industry, the Hemp Bill 2021 was withdrawn from the Order Paper during today’s sitting of the Lower House.
Attorney-General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin asked for the Bill to be pulled on Thursday, May 6, although it had already had its first reading.
A Select Committee had been constituted to go through the complexities of the Bill, and three of the five members reportedly met on April 1.
At that time, a number of experts spoke on the proposed legislation and offered recommendations that have been compiled in a report.
Benjamin says that several concerns were raised by the technicians, including cross contamination of the hemp and cannabis.
Antigua and Barbuda is seeking to enter the medicinal marijuana industry and, ahead of this Bill, already passed the Cannabis Act 2020.
Benjamin says the cultivation of both commodities at the same time will pose some issues, based on what the technicians disclosed.
He says the Committee has, therefore, recommended that the Parliament should not properly proceed with the Bill at this time. Accordingly, a vote was taken to defer the debate, and this was acceded to by all members of the House.
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