History Of CBD And Cannabis In: Trinidad And Tobago
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an island nation located in the Caribbean region. It is the southernmost island country in the area and consists of two main islands and other smaller islands. The country’s maritime boundaries consist of Barbados to its northeast, Guyana to its southeast, Venezuela to its south and west, and Grenada to its northwest. Collectively its total land area is just below 2,000 square miles with a population of over 1.3 million as of 2019.
As mentioned, the country consists of 2 main islands, Trinidad and Tobago. Both islands’ histories indicate that the original inhabitants were Amerindian peoples from South America dating back to 7,000 years ago. Throughout the centuries several periods of migration occurred with Trinidad being generally occupied by Arawakan and Carib-speaking tribes. The island of Tobago was largely inhabited by the Island Caribs and Kalina, indigenous tribes from Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Brazil.
In 1498, Christopher Columbus was credited to be the first European to visit the Island of Trinidad. While he landed in Trinidad, he also saw the island of Tobago in the distance, calling it “Bella Forma.” Throughout the 1500s, present-day Trinidad and Tobago were ruled and governed by the Spanish Empire until 1797 when it was surrendered to the British, with the French controlling the country between 1762 to 1781 until it was recaptured again by the British.
By 1888, both islands were unified under British rule until it gained independence in 1962 and became a republic in 1976. Today, the City of Port of Spain is the country’s capital and English is the official language.
Cannabis, CBD, And The Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago: A Brief History
Cannabis is known to grow in the wild on the islands, and it is thought to be native to the country. The same source suggests that cannabis was widely used and grown in Trinidad and Tobago dating to at least the 1800s with regulations and ordinances concerning the plant.
Documented periods of cannabis cultivation and use increased during the 1900s with several ordinances indicating taxation and the need for a license via the “Indian Hemp Ordinance of 1913” and the “Ganja Ordinance of Trinidad 1915.”
The country recognizes the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis. As such, cannabis is decriminalized in Trinidad and Tobago in small quantities. The decriminalization of cannabis was made into law in December of 2019 with two bills regulating the amount for possession and cultivation. The bills also detail the license requirements for growing the plant and also clearly indicates penalties as well.
According to a source, possession of 30 grams or less of ganja will not result in arrest. However, using or consuming the plant in public, workplaces, and around children is banned. There are also specific regulations or controls for its medicinal and religious uses. It further defines that a license is required for its cultivation with only a maximum of 4 marijuana plants for home cultivation.
As briefly mentioned, the country recognizes the health benefits of using and consuming cannabis. CBD and derivatives like oil, tinctures, teas, gummies, creams, lotions and more may perhaps be the influential factor behind the decriminalization of cannabis in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.