As Barbados gets ready to kick-start its medical cannabis industry, the Caribbean island’s Cannabis Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been collaborating with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council of Barbados to facilitate training and certification, as well as develop industry standards for cannabis cultivation.
Head of the Cannabis Unit Dr Shantal Munro-Knight recently advised small farmers and entrepreneurs to explore niche opportunities in the new industry. She pointed out, in addition, that entrepreneurs can apply for any of the eight licences offered under the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Act, 2019.
However, she clarified that access to medicinal cannabis will only be permitted under the terms and conditions set out by the laws of the country and the policies and regulations of the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority once it is up and running.
“There will be a period of learning. There will be a period where you will have to gather investment and see what the best ways are and learn the lessons. Therefore, we must give ourselves time,” Munro-Knight stated.
We have already started work with TVET for the development of two standards in cultivation of medical-grade cannabis…”— Dr Shantal Munro-Knight, head of the Cannabis Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Barbados
One of the aims of the Cannabis Unit is to certify employees in the industry, through prior learning assessment methodology, so that they can become qualified on the job.
Another opportunity that the unit is exploring is to facilitate, through strategic partnerships, expert training and ongoing certification in areas that people are either not aware of, or areas that are technical and specific to cannabis but are important to the industry.
“We want to make sure that people who come with some knowledge are able to get a level of certification that can allow them to operate in the industry in a legitimate way and we are hoping that we cannot only have that as a national qualification but also as a Caribbean qualification. so that people can also be able to use that qualification to move and work right across the industry in the region,” Munro-Knight explained.
“We have already started work with TVET for the development of two standards in cultivation of medical-grade cannabis …so we are in that process of development of those standards,” she continued