MCA set to launch safe cannabis production course
Local traditional cannabis cultivators and OECS workers, intending to work on local, sub-regional and Canadian farms, stand to benefit from a new training programme in safe cannabis production methodologies.
The Medicinal Cannabis Authority (MCA) of St Vincent and the Grenadines launched the innovative programme yesterday, October 24.
The initiative is expected to place traditional cultivators in a position that will improve production and productivity in the medicinal cannabis industry. The training course included theoretical and practical learning in the efficient production of cannabis in indoor, greenhouse and outdoor settings. The Botany
and propagation of cannabis, environmental requirement, pest and diseases management, harvesting and post harvesting practices were the main areas covered in the curriculum.
Additionally, training was provided on industrial standards related to Good Agriculture and Collection practices (GACP). Upon completion of the training, participants were provided with a certificate from the MCA. The Authority absorbed the cost of the training.
The programme forms part of the Government’s overarching mandate to ensure the smooth transition of traditional cultivators of cannabis into the licit medicinal cannabis industry. At the outset, the Government carved out, through the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Act 2018, a special space for this group of farmers in the form of a traditional cultivator’s licence. This licence among other provisions, allows for medicinal cannabis cultivation of up of five acres and is offered on preferential terms – only $100 for processing of application with no license fee attached for two years.
More than 100 Vincentians, comprising a significant number of traditional cultivators, have so far found temporary employment in the medicinal cannabis industry. They are providing valuable skills in preparatory work to establish activities at various sites include land clearing, excavation, installation of fencing and irrigation systems, assembling of greenhouses, and soil preparation.