History of CBD and Cannabis In – The Bahamas
On a worldwide basis, there’s no doubt about it: Cannabis and CBD are becoming more and more available across the world. This is driven by a slew of legal changes and an evolving scientific understanding of what CBD is and its effects on the human body. Indeed, both substances have seen a dramatic increase in their use and overall legal status.
That change has not occurred worldwide, of course, and some countries continue to hold to more conservative views when it comes to these substances. Such is the case in the island Nation of the Bahamas, which has taken the first baby steps towards a more liberal cannabis policy, but has yet to enact any real changes.
History of Marijuana in The Bahamas
Marijuana has never been legal in The Bahamas. It was first made illegal in 1929, when the Dangerous Drugs Act made the possession of cannabis (along with other drugs) illegal. The act was expanded in 1962 to capture the definition of Indian hemp and other forms of cannabis.
Generally speaking, the country has been regarded as a hub for the transportation of cannabis, not a country where cannabis is grown itself.
Current Legal Status of Marijuana in The Bahamas
At the moment, all forms of marijuana are illegal in The Bahamas. This includes transportation, production, medical use and recreational use. The sentences are severe for violating drug laws: Fines range from $50,000 – $125,000, with jail sentences potentially reaching up to ten years in prison. However, that depends on a variety of factors, including history of violations and the amount of cannabis someone is caught with. For holding cannabis with the intent to supply, the fines are massive (potentially as high as 40 years in jail) and the fine can reach up to $750,000.
The country has had conversations about decriminalization, with town halls in its capital of Nassau occurring in 2018. However, as of yet, no legislative effort has made significant progress.
Commissioners on the subject have been created, but even those commission members have tried to temper expectations, noting that any changes will take time and likely be gradual.
CBD in The Bahamas
Despite the continued illegality of marijuana in the Bahamas, the country has moved in a more progressive direction when it comes to CBD. In 2018, the head of the Bahamas Ministry of Health, Dr. Duane Sands, explicitly said that CBD is legal, but vendors would need an import license.