‘More Simplified, Regulated Cannabis Scheme’

June 3, 2020

“We plan to move ahead with a more simplified, regulated Cannabis scheme,” Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons said, adding that “the policy intends that the different classes of licensed activities which will be available are cultivation by commercial growers; cannabis retail shops; manufacture; research; transport; import, and export.”

Update: The link is now active on the Government website.

Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons’ full statement follows below:

Today, I wish to inform the Bermuda public, of the Government’s progress toward reforming our Cannabis laws. To set the background, the country will recall my remarks in the Senate in December 2019 when I presented a proposed legislative scheme to introduce Medicinal Cannabis in Bermuda.

Upon concluding public consultation on that proposal in January of this year, the Government listened to the public sentiment on what was proposed. Generally, the Medicinal Cannabis proposal was viewed as not going far enough to liberate Cannabis laws and it was too complicated to be effective.

Government has decided to pivot the scope of the Cannabis policy to meet public expectation: “that government’s efforts could be better utilised by further de-criminalisation of Cannabis, to the greatest extent possible, via a regulated framework”. Surprisingly for some, public attitudes have evolved apace with global legislative reforms and in recognition that opening up pathways for new economic opportunities and activity is needed.

We plan to move ahead with a more simplified, regulated Cannabis scheme, which builds on the strengths of the original Medicinal Cannabis policy and which embraces the public feedback.

The revised proposal will provide for a regulated Cannabis program, which has been hybridized to meet Bermuda’s requirements, whilst modelling the best available legal provisions in Canada [both provincial and federal] and to a lesser degree examples from the Caribbean.

The policy intends that the different classes of licensed activities which will be available are: −

  • Cultivation by commercial growers;
  • Cannabis retail shops;
  • Manufacture;
  • Research;
  • Transport;
  • Import; and
  • Export.

The regulatory requirements for each category of licence is provided within the legislation, including specific regulations applicable to Cannabis retail shops.

As we continue our pledge to encourage citizens to actively participate in our democracy, and in the interests of openness and transparency, the Government wishes to give the public every opportunity to give feedback and offer comments on this revised policy. To this end, I am announcing that we are ‘taking it back to the people’, by starting another public consultation exercise.

Members of the public and interested parties will be able to comment on the policy document and an illustrative draft Bill which outlines the details of the proposed regulated Cannabis scheme. The consultation package will be available on the government web portal: www.gov.bm. The consultation period will run from the 3rd June 2020 until the 3rd July 2020.

It is not often that the Government places an illustrative draft of a proposed Bill out for public scrutiny as part of a consultation exercise. However, as was done with the Medicinal Cannabis scheme, I thought it important that the granular details of the proposed law be accessible for public consumption.

The technical details in the illustrative draft Bill should allow persons an opportunity to see exactly how they will be affected by the law and how they might be able to participate in the economic opportunities expected to emerge from the legislation.

As I close, I strongly encourage the Bermuda public at large to review what is being proposed and take this opportunity to have their voices heard.

We are especially interested to welcome ideas from our youth, who have used social media and other platforms to call for greater liberalization of the Cannabis plant. There will be additional opportunities for direct engagement with interest groups and other public outreach during the consultation period.

Again, anyone interested in the proposed Cannabis reforms should go to the government portal, www.gov.bm, where you will find the consultation documents and instructions on how to send in your views.

Thank you.

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Comments (12)

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  1. wahoo says:

    Nice! I am clearing ground right now.

  2. sage says:

    Better than the first proposal but not by much, ganjaphobic hysteria is still evident in the proposal with way too much unnecessary over-regulation and future jobs for oppressive anti-herb status quo who should be barred from involvement.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Do you propose a free for all? By PLP standards, this is actually quite a thoughtful approach – it needs to be regulated, but ultimately its not going to suddenly fix a hideously broken economy.

  3. lion says:

    Good for the gov for moving forward on this issue, but at the same time, there is no mention of personal cultivation. Is it because they don’t want you growing your own without paying any type of tax.

  4. Um Um Like says:

    Can this government also address what will happen to all of those currently incarcerated because of this PLANT?

  5. Real Deal says:

    Cultivation by commercial growers;
    Cannabis retail shops;

    needs to be labeled for content percents and cultivation process.
    anything that is claiming to be Organic needs to be certified before that label can be legally applied just like food.

    should be well documented and shared in public repository

    for now import should be for medical only to give Locals a chance to skill up to compete

    anything that is calming to be or marketed as a product of Bermuda or branded Bermudian need to be certified quality and the same food labeling processing. regulations should be imposed. because if some exports garbage it will hurt our local brand/ tourism product.

    tourism sales; anyone selling locally to tourist needs to be certified just like for any other food sold to tourist

  6. UpInSmokeBDA says:

    The government states that they are looking for public input…. yet the documents are not anywhere on the government portal. Pure laziness.

  7. Real Deal says:

    Ganja will heal race relations in Bermuda instantly there are very few other substances that brings ALL humans that partake together in peace.
    it literary making you want to share everything with others. they Bermuda will see the True Power of humans through sharing and corporation it a power given to us be the Creator its a power the breeds consciousness the elevated state of all life forms

  8. Andrew says:

    I have tried to find the government portal on this subject with no luck.
    Please , we need to move faster with this as i and so many others are suffering in pain medically.

  9. Joe Bloggs says:

    ” the different classes of licensed activities which will be available are cultivation by commercial growers; cannabis retail shops; manufacture; research; transport; import, and export.”

    Export? Seriously? To where?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Uh… Places where it’s legal…
      Canada, Massachusetts, Maine, DC…
      It will be legal in many, if not most, states pretty soon.
      If we get an interesting strain going here, it could be a cool thing to export… of for tourists to buy…

      This is a good thing. They’re covering the bases.

      • BS says:

        Would cost us too much to export!
        And this will mean that the gangs will have to get source of money from stealing and more illicit levels of drugs!
        It’s a bad decision to legalize!