Britain Bars Bermuda From Legalizing Cannabis
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Britain Bars Bermuda From Legalizing Cannabis

Bermuda’s governor, Rena Lalgie, announced this week that the United Kingdom has blocked legislation to legalize the production and use of cannabis in the British Overseas Territory.

September 9, 2022

The United Kingdom has barred the government from legalizing cannabis in Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory.

Bermuda’s governor, Rena Lalgie, announced Tuesday that the United Kingdom blocked legislation to legalize the production and use of cannabis, according to  a Caribbean National Weekly report.

“I previously announced that I had reserved the Cannabis Licensing Bill 2022 for the signification of her majesty’s pleasure under Section 35 (2) of the Bermuda Constitution,” Lalgie said in a public statement. “I have now received an instruction, issued to me on Her Majesty’s behalf, not to assent to the bill as drafted.

“The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs concluded that the bill, as currently drafted, is not consistent with obligations held by the UK and Bermuda under the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

“I have informed the Premier and relayed the UK’s continued desire to work with Bermuda on reforms within the scope of our existing international obligations.”

The news received no immediate reaction from the David Burt government, CNW reported.

Premier Burt said last year that it would destroy the relationship between Bermuda and Britain if royal assent was not given to the cannabis legalization bill, called the Cannabis Licensing Act of 2022, according to CNW.

Currently, the possession of more than 7 grams of cannabis is illegal in Bermuda, but the legislation aimed to establish a legal framework for cannabis cultivation and retail. The bill would have also made cannabis business licenses available through a licensing authority, CNW reported.

The legislation was blocked in the Senate last year, but the upper house cannot block the bill a second time, according to the news outlet.

Bermuda’s Parliament passed legislation again in March to legalize cannabis cultivation and retail; lawmakers approved bill 18-6, according to CNW.