Cayman’s first legal cannabis oil import has piqued business interests and could indicate the start of a budding industry.
Michael Anderson, a pharmacist from Foster’s Food Fair-IGA by the airport, confirmed he had received and distributed his first prescription order of medicinal oil since the product was legalized in November.
Photographer and political candidate Dennie Warren said he picked up 60 milliliters of the Jamaican oil from the pharmacy for his wife, who hopes to use the product to treat lung cancer.
He encouraged pharmacies to begin stocking the product, to enable more convenient patient access.
“What people really need to do is go to a doctor and get a prescription. That will trigger pharmacies to order it,” Mr. Warren said.
His vision goes beyond imports, however. He is pushing for legalized production to create an independent, Caymanian industry.
“We should be growing here in the Cayman Islands to supply the medicinal demand, as well as exporting the product to the rest of the world, just like Israel is gearing itself up to,” he said.
Liquor 4 Less owner Prentice Panton is working with the University of the West Indies to develop a branded product, aimed at the Caymanian market.
“We’re working on producing our own brand of oil and selling it to local pharmacies,” he said.
His team is currently in the testing and product design phase. He hopes to have the product in Cayman within the next two months. His long-term vision is to set up “wellness centers” in Cayman where patients could seek treatment.
While Mr. Warren and Mr. Panton are both looking at Jamaica for supply, Canadian producers have also expressed interest in selling medicinal oils to Cayman.
Canada’s CanniMed Therapeutics reported in March that it had received purchase orders from the Cayman Islands. The company hopes to ship 12,960 milliliters of its oils to Cayman by the end of June.
Mr. Warren said he preferred importing oils with higher THC concentrations from Jamaica for cancer treatment. CanniMed’s highest concentrated oil, for example, contains 18.3 milligrams of THC per milliliter. In contrast, Mr. Warren said Jamaican Rick Simpson oil, also known as Phoenix Tears, can reach a concentration of 600 milligrams per milliliter.