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Cannabis legislation due to go back to the Senate today

Cannabis legalisation back before the Senate (Photograph by Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

Cannabis legalisation could spark controversy in the Senate today – even though the Upper House no longer has the power to block the legal change.

The legislation is on the order paper for the Senate after the House of Assembly backed the Cannabis Licensing Act last Friday.

The Act passed the House of Assembly in last February, but was voted down in the Senate, which forced the Government to put the legislation on hold for a year.

But the Upper House does not have the power to block the legislation for a second time.

Rena Lalgie, the Governor, has made it clear legalisation of cannabis for recreational use is not allowed under the UK’s international obligations.

But David Burt, the Premier, has warned that if the Act did not get Royal Assent it would “destroy” Bermuda’s relationship with Britain.

The Act would make it legal to grow, sell, consume and export cannabis.

A series of licences would be available through a licensing authority.

Mr Burt told the House of Assembly last week that one of the Act’s principles was that the cannabis industry fell under the “special programme” section of the Human Rights Act.

He insisted that meant it was designed to “assist a group of persons to achieve equal economic opportunity”.

Mr Burt said that the Bermuda Monetary Authority had made some progress on how banking would be affected by a legal cannabis industry.

Senators will also discuss Covid-19 precautions in schools, the creation of casinos in Bermuda and electricity charges.

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Published March 30, 2022 at 7:41 am (Updated March 30, 2022 at 8:48 am)

Cannabis legislation due to go back to the Senate today

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