History of CBD and Cannabis: Grenada
Located in the West Indies and Caribbean Sea, Grenada is a small country that boasts a large cannabis culture. Rastafarian influences and good climate conditions have allowed illicit cultivation, transshipment, and personal use schemes to prosper in the country.
The government’s historic attitude towards cannabis has developed as a result of variegated social, economic, and political factors.
Cannabis, CBD, and Grenada
Currently, cannabis is illegal for both recreational and medical use in Grenada. In 2005, it was reported that nearly 10.8 percent of adults used cannabis at least once, which makes it the most commonly used illegal substance in the country.
It’s believed that cannabis was first introduced by indentured servants from India, who arrived in the country in the mid nineteenth century. Many Indian servants brought cannabis seeds with them to cultivate in Grenada, using the plant primarily for recreational or religious purposes.
Most servants used the cannabis to prepare an intoxicating drink known as bhang, a viscous green liquid that was popular to consume for relaxation after long days of plantation labor.
Eventually, use spread from indentured Indian servants to the Rastafarian population. Several Rastafarian cultivators and distributors develop massive wealth purely through the illicit cannabis trade – in fact, their political and economic influence was one of the main drivers of 1979 Socialist Coup.
Also known as the New Jewel Movement, Rastafarian political actors were heavily involved in a Marxist-Leninist revolt all throughout Grenada. Ultimately, this led to a brutal crackdown of cannabis in the eighties. Many revolutionaries were imprisoned in government re-education camps, which led to the near destruction of many criminal cannabis organizations.
Nowadays, most cultivation schemes are relatively small. Grenada produces most of its own cannabis and exports the excess to lucrative American markets. Many remote, hard to access areas boast small pockets of cannabis crops; most of these crops exceed two hundred plants. Aside from the United States, excess cannabis is shipped illicitly to Barbados, in addition to Trinidad and Tobago.
Recently, many Caribbean nations have been shifting their enforcement and policy regarding cannabis cultivation, distribution, and use. For a brief period of time in 2014, Grenada officials were in contact with the Caribbean Community group (CARICOM) to discuss the potential legalization of cannabis.
However, relations soon broke down within the group, and Grenada officials maintain that marijuana should be completely illegal. It will likely take a new set of negotiations and greater state-wide administrative framework for Grenada to ever discuss cannabis legalization again.