Her excellency the Governor Helen Kilpatrick has said “Yes,” and now.
Legislative changes legalising the importation, prescription and use of medical cannabis oil in Cayman have been gazetted.
That, however, does not mean it’s going to hit pharmacy shelves anytime soon and that’s not sitting well with an advocate who says his wife’s cancer fight cannot handle another delay.
“There are people whose lives will end if they do not have an alternative option,” says Dennie Warren junior.
Time is of the essence to get medical cannabis oil for Mr Warren’s family. While last Friday’s gazetting of changes to the misuse of drugs law is welcomed it continues to be a lengthy journey for him to help his cancer-strickened wife.
“While I’m excited we have made it to this point, we still do not have access to the extract we need to have access to the regulations to really get on the road,” Mr Warren says.
Those regulations are yet to be published, according to the Premier’s office, but in the interim Mr Warren says he, and more so his wife, remain in limbo.
“Without having the regulations to know what they can do in the form to apply for an import permit you cannot move, you just wait,” he says.
Last month Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin introduced the changes in the LA, acknowledging challenges to sourcing and importing the oil, derived from the marijuana plant. But Mr Warren says Canada is an option.
“I understand that the process of obtaining an export permit from Canada to Cayman would take probably about three weeks so that’s for the initial thing so once the pharmacist get an initial supply then that kind of delay should not be any issue,” Mr Warren adds.
The Premier’s Office says the regulations have been approved and are with the health ministry for publication.
Only then will pharmacies and doctors be able to work on the next challenge of finding a source.
While not conclusively proven, cannabis oil is being researched for its potential in fighting cancer and as a pain-killer.