Weir: Local farmers interested medicinal marijuana industry

Minister of Agriculture, Indar Weir, insists that contrary to what’s being suggested in some circles, his ministry has received a significant expression of interest in the proposed medicinal marijuana industry here.

A special sub-committee of parliament is currently reviewing legislation to allow for the establishment of a medicinal marijuana industry and government has been touting what it sees as the sector’s great potential.

However, chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society James Paul has been telling Starcom Network News, he’s not aware of any greater interest in marijuana farming among his members.

But the agriculture minister had this to say in response to those comments.

The agriculture minister also responded to reports that local financial institutions may be reluctant to accept deposits generated from the medical marijuana sector. He says it’s a challenge all countries face.

Meantime, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Bridgetown, Credit Union, Steve Belle, notes that last Wednesday the  U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance legislation that would allow banks to provide services to cannabis companies in states where it is legal.

The bill received nearly unanimous support from Democrats, as well as nearly half of all Republicans and now heads to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain fate.

Some Republicans are wary of giving banks the green light to engage in marijuana business while it is still federally illegal. And some Democrats have said they would rather consider broader legislation around marijuana legalization or criminal justice reform rather than a targeted banking bill.

The bill clarifies that proceeds from legitimate cannabis businesses would not be considered illegal, and directs federal regulators to write up rules for how they would supervise such banking activity.

Back here in Mr. Barbados Mr. Belle says it’s a wait and see situation to see whether the proposed US law is fully adopted.

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