The Royal Gazette reports on how the debate fared.
More than half of the House of Assembly’s 36 MPs contributed to yesterday’s debate on the Cannabis Licensing Act 2020.
645fdbd008b1cede0b5c0036b557b8d0 Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and legal affairs minister, started the debate and claimed that the Act was a push back against a colonial mindset that had set out to “demonise and criminalise blacks”.
But she added that a regulatory framework would also provide economic opportunities.
Ms Simmons said: “We need radical new thinking – increasingly legalisation is not that radical at all.”
“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.”
But Scott Pearman, the shadow minister for legal affairs, disagreed, and claimed that few people would benefit from financial opportunities.
He said: “This bill is about the licensing of cannabis. In short, this Bill is really about who controls the manufacture, importation, and supply of cannabis in Bermuda.
Simply put, this bill is about money – cold hard cash. And, ultimately, it is about who gets that money. This bill is about corporate cannabis. And licences, as we all know, are about control. Licences are about cost.
“It is about the commercialisation of cannabis. About a licensing system to dictate where the money will go. And who gets the money.
“So, yes, the bill is about the licensing of cannabis because, ultimately, this bill is about who gets the cash.