Plans are in the pipeline to restructure the local cannabis industry, says Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP).
Noting that it was the UPP who, in 2015, commissioned a White Paper on the decriminalization of the substance, with a focus on the medicinal aspects of the plant, Lovell says the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) ran with the idea.
However, instead of putting proper mechanisms in place to prevent the wanton use of the drug among young people, the ALP simply enacted the legislation for votes, Lovell says.
Lovell complains that the current cannabis legislation makes it virtually impossible for locals to get into the market, given the onerous registration fee attached.
Accordingly, the UPP will reduce the registration fee, making it easier for those with slimmer pockets to enter the market.
He promises that the industry will be properly regulated, and the Government, itself, will help locals with the scientific development necessary. It will also partner with universities and research organization to make Antigua and Barbuda a country that is seen as more than a place where locals can smoke weed.