Local Churches have again highlighted some concerns in relation to the establishment of a Medical Cannabis Industry in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The concerns were outlined in a joint statement issued by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council in conjunction with The Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission, The Association of Evangelical Churches and the Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese

The Christian Council said it continued to be concerned regarding the nature and pace of advancements in respect of the establishment of the Industry.

The Council said it was invited to be part of the select committee to review the proposed legislation governing the Medical Cannabis Industry, but it believes there are several issues of concern which are critical in navigating this endeavour.

The Council noted that its participation in the process on the Select Committee is not to be understood as support for the endeavour nor evidence of uncertainty, but rather an indication of respect and maturity.

The statement said the Churches believe that the scientific and anecdotal information on the medical benefits of Marijuana are sufficiently credible to conceptualize and pursue a Medical Marijuana Industry or legal access to Medical Marijuana.

It said the Churches also believe that there is enough information available to suggest that substantial revenues can be obtained from such an industry, but they are however of the opinion that caution should be adopted in the pursuit of such an Industry, since there is sufficient historical experience, anecdotal and scientific information regarding the deleterious impact of Marijuana on individuals and society, especially on youth.

The statement added that the Churches appreciate the invitation and opportunity to participate in the process, especially in shaping the legal framework for this industry, and commended the Government on its resistance to what the Churches consider to be ‘irresponsible overtures’ towards full legalisation or legalisation for recreational use.

It added that the Churches are of the view, that the legislation is very thorough and reflects an awareness of the necessary caution that needs be employed.