Post Royal Visit Bermuda House of Assembly passes cannabis legislation again

William & Kate could probably do with some local Bermudan weed to loosen them up a bit.!

Caribbean National Weekly writes… 

Bermuda’s House of Assembly has again passed controversial legislation making it legal to grow and sell cannabis in Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, but it remains to be seen whether the Governor gives it the royal assent.

Twelve months ago, the legislation was blocked in the Senate, but the Upper House cannot do so again.

The Cannabis Licensing Act 2022 will create a regulated framework for the growth and sale of the drug.


A series of licenses will be available through a licensing authority, allowing people to not only possess more of the drug, but also to grow, harvest, sell, and export it.

The bill was introduced this time by Home Affairs Minister Walter Roban, who was standing in for Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons.

In a repeat of the speech that Simmons delivered in the House a year ago, Roban said the illegality of cannabis was “an unjust colonial legacy” and evidence of “systemic, racialized disparities” where black people were criminalized by a white oligarchy.

He added that changes to the law were “long overdue.

“We need radical new thinking – increasingly legalization is not that radical at all,” Roban said, adding that public consultation had demonstrated “an overwhelming appetite for changes in our cannabis laws – the public accepts there should be changes to the regime”.

At present, it is illegal to be in possession of more than seven grams of the drug.

But smoking cannabis in public will still be outlawed except in designated shops and it will also be illegal to sell the drug to anyone under the age of 21.

British Governor Rena Lalgie has made it clear legalization of cannabis for recreational use is not allowed under the UK’s international obligations.

But Premier David Burt has warned that if the Act did not get royal assent, it will “destroy” Bermuda’s relationship with Britain.

Roban admitted that the legal changes could cause friction with the United Kingdom. But he added “that is the type of trouble this [Progressive Labour Party] government is not afraid of.

“The totality of the proposed legislation provides for better effective regulatory control to displace the illicit market and full economic access at a time when families are suffering and looking for new economic opportunities.

“It will provide the greatest good for the greatest number,” he said.

Shadow Legal Affairs Minister Scott Pearman asked why the government had not made any changes to the bill that was tabled last year.

“Nothing has changed and that gives the impression that the government is not listening, because there are serious problems with this bill.”

He said the bill is “ultimately about money” and “corporate cannabis”, which will put the industry in the hands of a few.

The bill was approved last Friday by 18 votes to six, with all opposition One Bermuda Alliance MPs voting against it.


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