Governor’s Office Hamilton
I previously announced that I had reserved the Cannabis Licensing Bill 2022 for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure under Section 35 (2) of The Bermuda Constitution.
I have now received an instruction, issued to me on Her Majesty’s behalf, not to Assent to the Bill as drafted.
The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs concluded that the Bill, as currently drafted, is not consistent with obligations held by the UK and Bermuda under the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
I have informed the Premier and relayed the UK’s continued desire to work with Bermuda on reforms within the scope of our existing international obligations.
Her Excellency Ms Rena Lalgie Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda.
- In terms of cannabis reform, the key international obligations are set out in United Nations Conventions (the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances). The Conventions permit legislation of cannabis and cannabis products for medicinal and scientific purposes, and for certain industrial purposes, as long as appropriate regulatory oversight is put in place.
- The legislation of cannabis for other purposes is not permitted under the Conventions. It is possible to decriminalise the possession of limited amounts of cannabis for personal use, but that is not the same as making cannabis legal, for example, for sale in shops and cafes.
- The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs concluded that Bill legalises cannabis for other purposes.