Importers work to bring legal cannabis extracts to Cayman

Prentice Panton is trying to import medicinal cannabis extracts to the Cayman Islands from Jamaica. - Photo: Alvaro Serey

The first attempts to import cannabis extracts to the Cayman Islands are under way, following approval of the products for medical purposes in November.

While many questions on the import process remain to be answered, local businessman Prentice Panton said he is working with developers in Jamaica to process and test extracts for eventual use in Cayman.

Under November’s amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Law, medical doctors may now prescribe cannabis extracts or tinctures for therapeutic purposes. The law does not allow for production of the products in Cayman, pushing advocates like Mr. Panton to seek supplies from abroad.

“If we were allowed to grow here, there are a number of other opportunities for employment and potential for export ourselves, because there are countries that can legally import,” Mr. Panton said.

Jamaica moved to decriminalize cannabis in 2015 and has set up a tiered licensing system that allows for cultivation, processing, transport, retail, and research and development.

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The legality of Jamaican production remains uncertain, however. Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority has yet to issue approval to any growing operations and has not established terms for export.

The authority said licensing and export regulations are in development, but there is no time line for those steps.

The University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, has begun testing operations. Mr. Panton said he is working with researchers there to test products and prepare them for branding.

Cayman’s law has not set a tetrahydrocannabinol content limit for such products. THC is the psychoactive component found in cannabis. Researchers will also be looking at cannabidiol or CBD, a non-psychoactive component often emphasized in medicinal applications.

Mr. Panton said he is also looking at Canada as a sourcing option, but has not begun working to import from there.

Dennie Warren, who campaigned for the approval of medical cannabis in Cayman, said foreign sourcing could create issues in product transparency and safety.

He advocated for legal, organic growing in Cayman.

“I think that we should have allowed it to be grown here, because that would solve the problem of sourcing it. The problem is that when you are dependent on other countries for a source, you’re limited by whatever it is their legislation says,” Mr. Warren said.

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  1. Be very careful with this one. Marijuana is a drug. Doesn’t Cayman have enough problems with substance abuse. Good lord.
    Why look for trouble. There are deadly vehicular accidents, and murders here. Do you really think this won’t make these issues worse. You are all misguided.

    • Oh, please, don’t mix apples and oranges and jump to the wrong conclusions every time you hear a word Marijuana. Besides everyone who smokes it, smokes it already. And what they smoke is not a medical grade marijuana and how it got here is another million dollar question.

  2. Mr. Brown, I agree we must be very careful , if this stays to the intended use .
    For cancer patients. But I think that the demand would not be big enough for that , then legislation would be done to make it more profitable. See who is getting this of the ground .
    Then already talking about farming on the Island.

    As much as I would like to know that cancer patients get relief, I think that this would be one of the biggest mistake Government makes .

  3. Perhaps you bongers should become a little educated. Why do you need pot and fight for it so. It is a drug. Cayman wants drugs. Good luck to law enforcement. People are being killed by pot smoking drivers. Get it. Alcoholism has become uncontrollable, and deadly for too many years. Now pot will be the other killer

  4. Ok Lukishi Brown. I can agree about the alcoholism part of your comment. But maybe you need to go do some research before you make uneducated comments about marijuana extracts. At no point are they importing illegal marijuana. Enough of that can be found here now. There are no “pot smoking drivers” killing anyone around here (go do some more research). The extracts that the folks here are trying to import are the medicinal CBD extracts that have been proven time and time again to help people fighting cancer, parkinsons, crohn’s disease and too many other ailments to list without any negative side effects suffered by persons using these prescribed poisons that are around now. My grandmother is suffering from parkinsons and if the medicinal marijuana extract can help her ease her struggle I’m all for it. Now go do your research.

  5. Mr. Rivers ,
    I think that sense you are so against and knows so much about substance abuse , you should be running for election , so you can educate them politicians and stop any further action on this issue , because that is where you would need to be in the LA .

  6. Mr. Ebanks

    I think your (Mr) Brown is actually a (Ms) Brown, if I’m not mistaken but of that I’m in no way certain; the first name is more a female name than it is a male name.

    In any event, and these comments are in no way meant to be personal, what you are up against here is politically correct ignorance, based on the popularity of a position taken or an opinion, not on well-researched knowledge or opinions.

    Unfortunately, this has been the bane of Caymanian society for a very long time,,,and in many ways determines who’s ‘in’ and who’s ‘out’ of the loop of the mainstream of Caymanian society and because many people would rather be ‘in’ at any cost..they are willing to surrender knowledge, research and exposure for that privilege.

    Cayman’s attitudes towards cannabis, hemp, marijuana or whatever name you choose to call it by has been based on ignorance and lack of knowledge for generations now and don’t expect that to change overnight.

    The world’s attitude on the plant itself and its properties is changing rapidly, based on scientific and medical research and for those who refuse to access that knowledge, they remain in ignorance about it.

    If (Ms) Brown had any idea of who actually smokes marijuana in Cayman and who is driving vehicles everyday under its influence or having recently used it, she might not ever leave her house again.

    There has never been any vehicle accident that has ever been blamed on marijuana usage that I am aware of, unlike alcohol and any research would show that there is absolutely no comparison between the two drugs to make such an analogy.

    In any event, I believe that more efforts should be made by the CI Govt in educating the population about hemp (cannabis) as these laws for importation for medical purposes are put in place.

    It would certainly dispel some of the ignorance, myths and misinformation that currently exists.

  7. Mr. Tatum.

    I am very sorry for not looking closer at the first name of Ms. Brown , but her comment was so out of place, Just thought I would reply to her kind of funny. I knew that he / she wouldn’t get in the LA .

    But what I said in my other comment in reference to any thing Ms . Brown said was we must be careful . Did you ever see any Government do anything that was for one specific purpose an left at that ?

    What I mean is that if Government went into the importation of cannals oil , that it would be made a mess of because other things would be added to it , and you know how good the Government is in controlling anything. But money is the bottom line .

    I completely agree that cancer patients needs the relief of medication, but like I said look at who is trying to get import license , and is already talking about farming on the Island.
    Like I said that the cannabis oil wouldn’t be profitable enough then it would go to something else like medical Marijuana , then you would have every doctor handing out to everyone that can pay for it .

    Do we need anything more to further destroy the lives of the future generation of kids / young people ?