Medical Cannabis Dispensing To Begin In Cayman Islands

Cannabis oil in the Cayman Islands
Image: Google Maps

Cannabis oils will soon be made available to physician- selected Cayman Islands residents via an initiative of CTMH – Doctors Hospital and Cayman Pharmacy Group.

A series of  continuing education events were conducted in-house during the month of April to prepare for the program.

During an initial phase, medicines containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are to be dispensed from Professional Pharmacy. The medicines are being sourced from Canada’s CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. via Caribbean Medical Distributors Ltd. (CMD).

The primary focus of the initial phase is to engage and educate physician-selected patients, while tracking their progress.

“The pharmacist will also provide feedback for the physicians and together they will work towards an individually tuned treatment plan,” says a related press release.

The country’s Governor, Helen Kilpatrick, gave the green light for pharmacists to import cannabis extracts and tinctures late last year.

Earlier, Cayman Islands Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin set the ball rolling on allowing cannabis medicines into the Caymans after dropping a bombshell during his 2016-2017 Budget Policy Statement speech, indicating his strong support.

The Premier was moved by the story of local activist Dennie Warren Jr’s wife; who was suffering from cancer. Recently, Mr. Warren called on the  government to also allow medical cannabis to be grown locally; saying it would ensure supply and bring better quality control and broader economic benefit to the country.

Legislation for medical cannabis in the Caymans is quite flexible; but only in relation to extracts. According to the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Law, 2016 (PDF):

“The use of cannabis extracts and tinctures of cannabis for medical or therapeutic purposes, where prescribed by a medical doctor licensed in accordance with the Health Practice Law (2013 Revision)  as part of a course of treatment for a person under that medical doctor’s care, is lawful.”

Under the legislation, “cannabis extracts and tinctures of cannabis” means the separated resin, crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant.

Even with just oil permitted, there’s a lot of interest. In March, The Cayman Islands hosted an educational conference on cannabis for the first time that was attended by nearly 300 people of diverse backgrounds.