Govt House & Govt On Cannabis Bill Assent

March 30, 2022 | 8 Comments

[Updated] When the Cannabis Licensing Bill is “presented to the Governor for assent, the Governor will act in accordance with the Constitution,”  Government House said.

Before any new legislation becomes law it must pass the House and Senate and — as Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory — it must also receive assent from the UK appointed Governor.

The Act was originally passed in the House of Assembly back in February 2021, however failed to pass on the Senate in March 2021 which resulted in the Government to having to delay the legislation for one year. It passed the House of Assembly again a second time this month, and as the Senate cannot block the legislation a second time, it heads to the Governor for assent.

A Government House spokesperson said, “The Governor is aware that the [first] reading of the Cannabis Licensing Bill 2022 is due in the Senate [today]. When the Bill is presented to the Governor for assent, the Governor will act in accordance with the Constitution.

“Her Excellency shall reserve assent if she considers the Bill to be inconsistent with the UK’s international obligations, in this instance the United Nations Conventions on drugs.”

An excerpt from the Bermuda Constitution Order pertaining to assent is below:

Subject to the provisions of sections 37 and 38 of this Constitution, the power of the Legislature to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both Houses, either without amendment or with such amendments only as are agreed to by both Houses, and assented to by Her Majesty or by the Governor on behalf of Her Majesty.

When a bill is presented to the Governor for assent, he shall signify that he assents or that he withholds assent or that he reserves the bill for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure:

Provided that, unless he has been authorised by a Secretary of State to assent thereto, the Governor shall reserve for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure any bill which appears to him, acting in his discretion—

  • to be inconsistent with any obligation of Her Majesty or of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom towards any other state or power or any international organisation;
  • to be likely to prejudice the Royal prerogative;
  • to be in any way repugnant to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution;
  • to affect any matter for which he is responsible under section 62 of this Constitution; or
  • to relate to currency or banking.

A Bill assented to by Her Majesty shall become a law when the Governor has signified such assent by proclamation published in the Gazette.

Update 5.53pm: A Government spokesperson said: “In the Government’s 2020 Election Platform the Government promised to ‘..structure the regulation of cannabis to protect our children and create economic opportunity..’. Following today’s Senate proceedings this promise is now a further step towards fulfilment.

“The people of Bermuda gave this Government a strong mandate to deliver on those Platform promises and it is vital to our democracy that we honour that mandate. The history of our relationship with the UK Government is one where the UK recognizes and respects the results of elections and the responsibility of elected representatives to deliver on Election promises. The Government expects that this Bill will be treated in keeping with that well established constitutional path and looks forward to the Bill becoming law.”

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Comments (8)

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  1. Croker says:

    We see through this Burt, this isn’t about weed, its a backdoor independence trick.

    Pathetic, what do you take the electorate for? Such arrogance.

  2. Let's Keep It Real says:

    It is very noticeable that the Church had not stated it’s position on this issue

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    This Bill has nothing to do with cannabis and everything to do with setting up a contrived dispute with London so that Bermuda goes independent without any referendum of the people

  4. I personally dont want to be walking down the road, on a bus or ferry or taxi. Who have taken my hard earned money and get a face full of weed.

    PHEW

    • Toodle-oo says:

      I really thought you were going to say that you didn’t want to get on/in any of those vehicles where the operators were under the influence.

      The smell of herb isn’t really that bad IMO , but then again I’m used to the aroma of horticultural waste bonfires.

  5. poure bs says:

    This is no more than an ARROGANT premier looking for a fight with the UK so he can backslide the independence issue under this smoke screen. The useless weed bill holds no water for economic growth or jobs. just like the casino and tourism WE HAVE MISSED THE BOAT. Typical of this govt. Come out with some substantive figures on just how much revenue or jobs ( Not talking about the F of F Plan ) will produce. Hell BS baffles brains just like cruise ships in record numbers. All the first 4 anion been seen and the early next month not looking good either.

  6. Paul says:

    So let me get this straight -

    Cannabis ✔️
    Gay marriage ❌

    #BoycottBermuda
    #NoMoreTouristDollarsToBermuda

  7. Mick says:

    So I will be allowed to have and smoke cannabis, but my friends and husband are not allowed to perform or have my recognises same-sex marriage. How very strange Bermuda honestly!

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