The Government of The Bahamas has proposed a collection of bills aimed at decriminalizing cannabis for use in medical, religious, and scientific research, thereby transforming its consumption from a strictly illegal activity into a regulated industry.

Bahamian media reported that a total of 11 pieces of legislation, with the Cannabis Bill of 2023 as the centerpiece, will establish a framework for local cannabis production to meet medical needs, create economic opportunity, and regulate the industry.

The proposal states that doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis to relieve pain and suffering from specific diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy.

“There are many Bahamians, some of whom suffer from diseases such as terminal cancer and various forms of depression, who do not respond to clinical therapy and post-traumatic stress,” said Health and Welfare Secretary Michael Darvill.

The head of the Ministry of Health explained that these people travel abroad to access these treatments and contact the ministry to bring the product into the country. “The time has come to remove cannabis from the Dangerous Drugs Act and make it a controlled substance so it can be grown in the Bahamas,” he stressed.