By Orville Williams

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With the global legal cannabis market valued at more than US$20 billion, the Antigua and Barbuda Medicinal Cannabis Authority (MCA) is moving forward with plans to enter the consumer stage of the local industry.

The MCA issued the country’s first cannabis production licence to GROW Antigua – also the country’s first homegrown medical cannabis company – in June last year and the company celebrated its first official harvest in December.

The next step in building the local industry, according to MCA Chairman Ambassador Daven Joseph, is for companies like GROW Antigua to acquire the appropriate licence and establish dispensaries for consumers to be able to purchase medicinal cannabis products.

Ambassador Joseph told Observer that the preparation for that next step is well underway and should be completed in a matter of months.

“We’re now in the process of organising training for our pharmacists and our medical professionals who are interested in participating in the industry, and we are also putting in place strict procedures for surveillance and control.

“I guarantee you that by April [2022], all of this will be in place, because we’re working with a strict timeline. [We’re] looking at Jamaica’s and St

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