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.
  • Overview
  • 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.

Regulators BER GVT
Entity Types CNSM; Corp
Reference PR 5/13/2022; PR 5/12/2022
Functions Compliance; Legal; Risk
Countries Bermuda
Products Corporate
Regions Am
Rule Type Proposed
Rule Date 5/12/2022
Effective Date 5/13/2022
Rule Id 137678
Linked to Rule :100350
Reg. Last Update 5/13/2022
Report Section International

Last substantive update on 05/17/2022