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Medicinal Cannabis laboratory opens at Rivulet

Medicinal Cannabis laboratory opens at Rivulet
AGRICULTURE MINISTER Saboto Caesar (left) and education minister Curtis King (right) receiving information on the workings of one of the pieces of equipment (photo by Robertson S Henry)

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LAST MONDAY August 30, 2021, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines officially opened the laboratory at the Medicinal Cannabis Authority (MCA), at Rivulet, a major step in the drive to firmly established the medicinal cannabis industry.

The laboratory is a public/private partnership, between the Medicinal Cannabis Authority (MCA), and Caribbean Gold Standard. The MCA has invested over $EC700,000 for the construction of the building, and Caribbean Gold Standard provided all the equipment for the laboratory.

CEO of Caribbean Gold Standards Mathias Piassaki, told the assembled guests and media that the partnership means a lot to Caribbean Gold Standards, and “we have been here for quite a while working on this project, and today marks the finish of one phase of this project but the beginning of what we hope to be a long and fruitful endeavour with not only the medicinal cannabis industry, but also the population as a whole.”

Since 2018 Caribbean Gold Standard has been working with Dr. Jerrol Thompson CEO of the MCA, and Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, “understanding the need, understanding the direction of the industry as it was meant to be presented here, versus some of the experiences we had coming from the States.”

The Caribbean Gold Standard official added that they immediately saw the passion and the dedication to demonstrate how serious and how technically supported this industry was meant to be.

“We really felt gravitated towards everyone here at the MCA and everyone at the Ministry that has worked on this project,because of that serious attention to the details and the desire to make sure that they were providing the best and most up to date services as not only a lab, but as a regulatory body and as an industry setting forth to improve patient care and experience and to educate everyone on the opportunity this creates.”

Speaking of the effectiveness of THC and CBD, Piassaki said that had his family known of the potential benefits of this medicine, there would have been a different ending to the manner in which his grandfather’s life ended. His grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Minister Caesar who has been at the forefront of development of the Medical Marijuana Industry said it demands a lot of time and effort to develop the right policies and structures for a beneficial industry.

He commented that, “Success can be very humbling,” adding that they have established a mantra in the Ministry of Agriculture, “that medicinal wellness begins and ends with science,” as he underscored what was said by the International Narcotics Board that “Any plant can be used for scientific research, and for medicinal purposes.”

Caesar said as a result, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines decided to establish a modern, medicinal, wellness industry, “aimed at producing high quality products, and importantly, will integrate the traditional cultivators of cannabis, and the traditional producers of other forms of nutro-ceuticals.”

The newly opened laboratory is expected to play a key role in partnership with a number of foreign institutions, as the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines aims to make the institution one of the best in the hemisphere.

Caesar added that the modern, medicinal wellness industry is many sided. “The birth of the psychedelics industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has gone beyond its embryonic stages of its development.”

Cy Campbell has been working in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the past 24 months, “to look at how we can frame and shape in a pioneering sense the establishment of another arm of the modern medicinal wellness industry”.

He said “St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica, we are leaders in CARICOM and in the hemisphere, as it pertains to the development of not only cannabis, but also opportunities for the psychedelics industry.”

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