Bermuda will allow patients to import up to 2,000 grams of medical cannabis per year in order to treat a number of conditions.
The Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled in favour of allowing the medical use of cannabis in November 2016. However, a limit of just 1 gram per year has forced sick Bermudans to turn to the black market to purchase the marijuana they need.
That limit has now shot up by 2,000%. The Bermudan government is in the process of appointing a commercial importer to oversee a more regulated distribution scheme.
The island nation is planning to introduce legislation that would regulate both recreational and medical marijuana in May. In the interim, individual patients can apply to import their own cannabis, and the new limits make that a much more realistic prospect.
Eventually the plan is for the island to cultivate its own medical cannabis, but in the early stages it will be reliant on imports.
Bermuda released its proposed Medicinal Cannabis Bill in December 2019, along with licensing regulations. It would create the Medicinal Cannabis Authority, which would be tasked with regulating cultivation, import, export, manufacturing, research and development, and transport.
The bill is currently in a consultation phase and it should be introduced in May. It has not yet proposed licensing fees. That will be up to the Medicinal Cannabis Authority to determine once it has been established.
It will also have to come up with a list of the strains that will be permitted on the island, the various tiers of cultivation and the standards of practice licensees must adhere to. It will issue licenses and identification cards for all Bermudans taking part in the scheme.
There will also be draft legislation concerning the legalization of recreational cannabis use in May, according to Attorney General Kathy Lynn Simons. In 2017, Bermuda introduced the Misuse of Drugs (Decriminalization of Cannabis) Amendment Act, which decriminalized simple possession of up to 7 grams of cannabis.
Bermuda is a British overseas territory with a population of 71,176. It received more than 800,000 tourists last year, and tourist spend amounted to $417.5 million. That makes it the second largest industry on the island, after international reinsurance.
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