Saint Vincent and the Grenadines now has a facility to test the quality of cannabis and other products. Caribbean Gold Standards, an analytical service laboratory was officially opened on Thursday, 12th August, 2021.
Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Saboto Caesar said the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines sees the facility as a fundamental development pillar for the growth and advancement of the country. He thanked Caribbean Gold Standards for choosing to invest in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Agriculture Minister said they are not only here to deal with cannabis but to deal with Saint Vincent and the Grenadine’s quest to examine all standards in different industries. He added that they will also be testing the quality of fish when Rain Forest commences its operations here.
Minister Caesar noted that with the opening of this facility, SVG will no longer have to send samples to the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad for testing. He said this process takes up to three to four months before the results are received. Caesar said with this analytical service laboratory results from samples can be received within a few days.
Caesar commended the Medicinal Cannabis Authority and its staff for the excellent work they continue to do. He noted that the authority is the best in the Caribbean.
The Agriculture Minister said the International Narcotics Control Board has indicated that every plant in or brought into SVG for scientific research or medicinal purposes can be used once there is a regulatory framework. "This is a significant breakthrough", Caesar said.
Minister Caesar said the government will establish fundamental pillars for indigenous wealth creation. These include a modern competitive medicinal wellness platform that not only deals with cannabis but with psychedelics, Wellness tourism, the advancement of the fisheries sector and the blue economy and the reduction of the food import bill.
Caesar stressed the fact that the food import bill stands at 200 million dollars and the government will be working with several stakeholders to see how out of that 200 million dollars, 100 million dollars’ worth of goods can be produced locally.
"We want when we produce those goods locally that we can test the quality here at Caribbean Gold Standards because for far too long there is a growing suspicion in our country that a lot of what we are importing are not of sound quality," the agriculture minister pointed out.
He noted that the government will be testing everything that arrives in SVG and if they do not meet the required standards they will not be allowed into the country. "Too many Vincentians are suffering with many ailments", Caesar lamented.
Caribbean Gold Standards, the Analytical Service Laboratory is located in Rivulet.
SOURCE: Agency for Public Information (A.P.I)/ Information Technology Services Division (I.T.S.D)