Up In Smoke? Penn Says Medical Marijuana Sounds Sexy, But Not Profitable
While the Government is touting that the medical marijuana is a part of the suite of economic diversification strategies; the Opposition has stated that the industry is not going to be very profitable.
The apprehension was disclosed to the media by Leader of the Opposition Hon. Marlon Penn during a press conference that was held on December 16.
Hon. Penn said, “The issue of medical marijuana - it sounds good, its sexy and it’s a good term. St Vincent is doing it, Jamaica is doing it, St Thomas is doing it. When you look at the dollars and sense there is no real revenue being earned from these Territories with medical marijuana to date and they have been at it much longer than we have; to the point now where St Thomas is even thinking of doing it for recreational use. They realize for it to be viable they have to expand on what they are doing.”
The Opposition Leader added, “We have to have a strategic vision for how we want to move the country and the economy forward not these old pie in the sky dreams. The old fancy clichés - we going green, we going this and that, without the numbers to back up what it means to us as a Territory," Hon. Penn stated.
According to the Opposition Leader, a number of new projects are not properly financed.
"We’re talking about going green and all these fancy things with medical marijuana but there is no money in agriculture to do anything to barely pay the staff let alone expand medical marijuana. There is no money in the Premier’s Office for any of these special projects to do all these things that we’re talking about,” Hon. Penn stated.
Government is projecting to rake in $5M from medical marijuana.
Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie disclosed that north American companies have presented interest in the Territory’s medical marijuana industry and 40 farmers are expected to be trained as the Territory.