BER GVT Cannabis Licensing Bill 2022
On May 12, BER GVT issued statement from governor on cited bill.
- BRE GVT Governor issued statement from on the Cannabis Licensing Bill 2022.
- Follows BER PRL Feb. 2021 issued new law on Cannabis Licensing Act, see #100350.
- Bermuda Cannabis Licensing Bill 2022 was re-introduced to House of Assembly on Mar. 25, 2022 where it passed and went for Second Reading in Senate on Mar. 30, 2022.
- Latter with votes tied and as such it was rejected by the Senate for a second time.
- However, in line with process set out in Bermuda Constitution Order 1968, the Bill has now been presented to Governor for Royal Assent.
- Any Governor receiving a bill for assent must follow process set out in Constitution.
- This requires the Governor to consider whether the bill, as written, is consistent with or would breach any international obligation should it be made into law, etc.
- Key Aspects
- Re cannabis reform, key international obligations are set out in UN Conventions (1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances).
- They permit legalization of cannabis, cannabis products for medicinal and scientific purposes, for certain industrial purposes, if appropriate regulatory oversight in place.
- Legalization of cannabis for other purposes is not permitted under the Conventions.
- It is possible to decriminalize possession of limited amounts of cannabis for personal use, but not same as making cannabis legal, for example, for sale in shops and cafes.
- The bill presented legalizes cannabis for other purposes so it appears to be inconsistent with obligations UK and Bermuda have under the mentioned Conventions.
- Thus, assenting to the bill would lead to a breach of those obligations so Governor has no choice but to reserve Assent of Bill under Section 35(2) of Constitution.
- Notify the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
- The UK has supported, is currently assisting some of Crown Dependencies, Overseas Territories to develop policy, legislation in way compliant with relevant Conventions.
- Expects Bermudian officials to work together with UK officials to find way forward that does not result in life changing criminal records for user of small amounts of cannabis.
- Unlocks commercial opportunities, keeps BER reputation for upholding the rule of law.
- May 13, 2022 BER GVT Reserve Assent
- On May 13, 2022, BER GVT issued decision to reserve assent of cannabis licensing bill.
- Awaits position of secretary of State foreign, commonwealth and development affairs.
||PR 5/13/2022; PR 5/12/2022
||Compliance; Legal; Risk
|Reg. Last Update
Last substantive update on 05/17/2022