WHAT WE DO
What are the functions of the BMCLA?
Develop policies, procedures and guidelines to establish the medicinal cannabis industry and to ensure that medicinal cannabis is available to patients in a safe and efficient manner;
Enforce procedures in relation to the inspection of premises that are operated by a person in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act, 2019 or any regulations made pursuant to this Act.
Regulates the handling of medicinal cannabis;
With the approval of the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Board, establishes and maintains an electronic database to:
collect,collate and include information relating to persons who handle medicinal cannabis or cannabis in accordance with this Act;
Enters into any arrangement, which, in the opinion of the BMCLA, is necessary to ensure the proper performance of its functions.
Issues licences in relation to the handling of medicinal cannabis in accordance with the provisions of the Act, 2019;
Provides for the distribution of educational materials and the conduct of training programmes in relation to the development and use of medicinal cannabis and the medicinal cannabis industry.
Where required, assists with the provision of analytical services;
Ensures that proper disposal requirements are prescribed for the safe disposal of cannabis which is handled under the Act.
For further information on the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Industry Act, 2019. Click Here
Establish effective and efficient operational modalities for the BMCLA and staff
Enable effective national public and stakeholder education and outreach
Ensure a trained and certified work force to facilitate a high standard of products and services
Identify and operationalise the regulatory and compliance regime to safeguard patient and public safety
Facilitate research and development from seed to sale, leading to IP generation and safe and efficacious treatment modalities
Develop the medicinal cannabis industry as an economic engine, contributing directly and indirectly to 20% of the National Gross Domestic Product
Everything you need to apply for a Licence
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Act, 2019 allows you to handle medicinal cannabis for medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes under a Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA) licensing regime. The Regulations allow for the ability to cultivate, transport, process, sell, import, export, research and develop medicinal cannabis and medicinal cannabis products under a regulated licensing regime that includes licences across several categories and types. Below is everything you need to know in one stop from applying for a licence to handling medicinal cannabis. The BMCLA has created this one-stop shop to make it easier for persons to become involved in what promises to be an industry of great economic benefit. See below the simple steps required to get and to submit an application for any licence being issued by the BMCLA.
Your Wellbeing and Medicinal Cannabis
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Why is smoking cannabis for medical purposes not permitted?
There are two major concerns regarding smoking medicinal cannabis.
- Firstly, smoking is a particularly harmful way of taking medicinal cannabis, mainly because it poses comparable risks for bronchitis and lung cancer, as is the smoking of cigarettes. Smoking medicinal cannabis is not permitted by local or international Health authorities.
- Secondly, approved medicines used in Barbados are produced under strict conditions to ensure efficacy and safety. It is important that medical doctors know that medicines have been tested and are standardized by dose and therapeutic response. This means doctors can monitor the effects of the drug and doses can be adjusted according to a patient’s needs.
It is understood that smoked cannabis will not be prescribed in Barbados because smoked plant products will not satisfy governmental requirements.
- How will medicinal cannabis be accessed by pharmacies and doctors for prescription to patients?
The Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority grants licenses to facilitate the cultivation, processing, transport and dispensing of medicinal cannabis to patients. The Medicinal Cannabis Industry Act, 2019 outlines that medicinal cannabis products can be prescribed by a medical practitioner. A Pharmacy with a retail distributor's license can dispense medicinal cannabis when presented by a patient with a prescription and a valid form of identification.
Currently, there are five legally-approved medicinal cannabis drugs, placed on the National Drug Formulary for specific indications, via approval from the Minister of Health and Wellness utilising Section 12 of the Drug Abuse (Control and Prevention) Act Cap 131.
Please speak to your doctor or pharmacist for more information on accessing medicinal cannabis.
What are the short-term effects of cannabis use or THC based products?
Everyone's response to cannabis differs and can vary from one time to the next.
Like any other drug, cannabis can:
- Impair your ability to drive safely or operate heavy equipment
- It can cause drowsiness, slow reaction times, lower your ability to pay attention and impair coordination
- Affect your mental capacity
- Impair your concentration, memory and decision-making, and can impact your ability to perform well on the job or at school.
- Cause euphoria (a high) it can also cause anxiety or panic.
- In rare cases, cannabis can trigger a psychotic episode (not knowing what is real, experiencing paranoia, having disorganized thoughts and, in some cases, hallucinating).
   World Health Organization (WHO). The health and social effects of nonmedical cannabis use.
What are the long-term effects of cannabis use?
Using cannabis frequently (daily or almost daily) and over a long time (several months or years) can:
- Hurt your lungs and make it harder to breathe, if smoked
- Cannabis smoke may contain many of the same harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke
- Affect your mental health
- Frequent use of THC based products over a long time increases the risk of cannabis dependence
- Increased risk of developing psychotic disorders
- Early exposure of cannabis use during the adolescent years can impair brain development and functioning
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
 Weinstein, AM, Cohen, K. Synthetic and Non-synthetic Cannabinoid Drugs and Their Adverse Effects-A Review from Public Health Prospective. Frontiers in Public Health 2018; 6:1-8. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2018.00162.
What are the effects of cannabis on pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Cannabis use is discouraged during pregnancy and during nursing. Substances in cannabis can transfer from the mother to child and can affect your unborn or newborn baby.
How will side effects be dealt with as they are noted by the medical community?
Like any other prescribed medication, the administration of prescribed medicinal cannabis will be under supervision and monitoring by your doctor so to minimise harm, or negative interact to a patient. Factors like medical history, allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, co-morbidities, other medications that a patient may be taking will all be taken into consideration along with regular checkups.