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(CMC) – Premier David Burt has pledged that cannabis cultivation for medical reasons will be legalised within months in Bermuda.
The Premier’s promise came as he delivered the keynote speech at the ruling Progressive Labour Party’s (PLP) annual conference, which opened on Wednesday.
He said government would issue the first licences for production of the drug next year.
“The government can apply to the United Nations to raise the import limit for medicinal cannabis but our thinking is, in a country that is desperate for jobs, why send money overseas to import what we can produce here?
“In line with the pledge made in our platform, the government will begin issuing licences for domestic medicinal cannabis production,” the Premier said.
Burt also said the government had to update its immigration policies.
“In 2018, where the world is virtual and jobs are mobile, it is important to realise that we may need to take a different approach to immigration than we did in 1956 when the act was written.”
“From the last census report it is clear that income inequality is getting worse. Black people continue to make less than their white counterparts.
“The violence we see has its genesis in that inequality.”
The Premier said that the promotion of black Bermudians in the business world would be good for companies, but those that did not would come under more inspection.
“Particularly black Bermudians at times do not get to advance. Some companies are making efforts to change this trend and I commend them for doing so.
“We need to move from a one-size-fits-all model of immigration to a model where good corporate citizens who hire, train and promote Bermudians are rewarded with a more streamlined system, while those who do not will be subject to additional scrutiny.”
He added: “The country benefits from a more efficient government and we will follow through with our platform commitment to reduce red tape and will make everything from getting a truck permit to a liquor licence to a work permit or to register a business easier for our citizens to do.”
Government backbencher Christopher Famous, in an earlier speech, said free health insurance for people older than 90 would be announced in the Throne Speech due to be delivered next month.
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