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SVG approves first ganja licences

SVG approves first ganja licences

The Cabinet, on Wednesday, approved a number of cannabis cultivation licences recommended by the Medical Cannabis Authority, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on radio on Thursday.

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Gonsalves said that the authority made the recommendations after examining some of the applications thus far and conducting due diligence.

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He said that the authority, through its chief executive officer, Jerrol Thompson and Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar would provide the details.

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“But I just want to indicate that for traditional cultivators, 21 licences which were recommended have been approved, eight of them is for groups and these eight groups have between them about 100 persons, I’m told — roughly, approximately,” Gonsalves said on Star FM, his party’s radio station.

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He said that the lands are located Peter’s Hope, Mt Bentinck, Richmond Estate, Rose Hall, Mt Grennan, Orange Hill, and Grace Field in South Rivers

There are also individual traditional cultivators

There are 13 others at Langley Park, Palmyra in Rose Hall, Belle Isle, Old Garden, Belmont, Greiggs, Byera, Degro in Rose Hall, Fitz Hughes, Belmont, Richmond, Biabou, Mt Wynne, and Pasture, Mesopotamia

He said there are three nationals who have been granted traditional licences who are not traditional cultivators

One of them has lands in Chapmans and two others in Grace Field, in the South Rivers area

Ten companies have been registered that are owned, in the majority, by non-nationals, and some of them have nationals involved with them

The prime minister said they have licences ranging from class A through to E, with E being the most expensive

He said there are three companies with Class E licences and one with Class A, two Class B licences, 2 Class D’s, two Class C’s

“So those entities will be informed and those individuals but I am sure that the minister and Jerrol Thompson would provide the details. Just to indicate that the process is ongoing

The paper work, applications and the checking out and the due diligence and all those things was an exhaustive process and took a fair bit of time,” he said. He said that a Class A licence costs a non-national EC$100,000 and allows for cultivation of up to one acre of land and is valid for one year

Class B is two years duration and cost EC$250,000

Class C is up to 25 acres and cost EC$500,000 and is of three years’ duration

Class D is for up to 100 acres and cost EC$1 million. The licence is valid for four years

A class E licence cost EC$2.67 million (US$1 million) and lasts for five years

In addition, each of them has to pay upfront, in the first year, an EC$250,000 food security authorisation fee “so that we can use that money to help to strengthen our food security, because we could grow ganja but we can’t eat ganja,” the prime minister said

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