Cannabis in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Cannabis in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was prior known to be illegal but is now decriminilized and has correlating legal medical marijuana laws. Cannabis is widely grown illicitly on the island and is the nation's most valuable agricultural product. Saint Vincent is the most prolific producer of cannabis in the Caribbean, other than Jamaica.[1]


Commercial cultivation of cannabis in SVG began in the 1970s; the island's inaccessible hilly volcanic interior, rich soil, and wide array of often empty islands proved to make it an excellent place to cultivate and traffic cannabis. Prior to the 1970s, most cannabis in SVG was the product of Colombia or Trinidad.[2] A large portion of the cultivators were youth who had previously worked on banana farms, until price downturns led to a collapse of the banana industry.[3][4]

In the 1980s, the United States greatly increased cannabis interdiction in the Caribbean, which led to the unintended consequence of stimulating domestic cannabis cultivation in the United States. By the 1990s, SVG's advantage in the regional cannabis market had faded, but with supply still steady,[5] they began increased exports to neighboring island nations.[6][7] Cannabis had become the island's major cash-crop, and cannabis cultivators grouped themselves into alliances mirrored after the familiar Banana Growers' Association.[1] By the year 2000, the cannabis crop was estimated (even after 10% eradication) at US$40 million, outpacing even bananas.[8]


In 2010, SVG's cannabis production was assessed:[9]

  • 50% Caribbean market
  • 15% United States
  • 23% UK and Europe
  • 10% Canada
  • 2% local consumption


  1. ^ a b Helen A. Regis (1 January 2006). Caribbean and Southern: Transnational Perspectives on the U.S. South. University of Georgia Press. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-0-8203-2832-4.
  2. ^ Axel Klein; Marcus Day; Anthony Harriott (18 July 2013). Caribbean Drugs: From Criminalization to Harm Reduction. Zed Books Ltd. pp. 239–. ISBN 978-1-84813-622-9.
  3. ^ Gary Thomas Barker (2005). Dying to be Men: Youth, Masculinity and Social Exclusion. Psychology Press. pp. 105–. ISBN 978-0-415-33775-5.
  4. ^ Cynthia Barrow-Giles; Don D. Marshall (2003). Living at the Borderlines: Issues in Caribbean Sovereignty and Development. Ian Randle Publishers. pp. 111–. ISBN 978-976-637-148-7.
  5. ^ Mark Moberg (15 January 2013). Slipping Away: Banana Politics and Fair Trade in the Eastern Caribbean. Berghahn Books. pp. 162–. ISBN 978-0-85745-398-3.
  6. ^ DIANE Publishing Company (August 1995). International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 1995. DIANE Publishing. pp. 197–. ISBN 978-0-7881-2057-2.
  7. ^ Michael C. Desch; Jorge I. Domínguez; Andres Serbin (16 April 1998). From Pirates to Drug Lords: The Post - Cold War Caribbean Security Environment. SUNY Press. pp. 104–. ISBN 978-0-7914-3750-6.
  8. ^ I. Griffith (6 June 2000). The Political Economy of Drugs in the Caribbean. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 100–. ISBN 978-0-230-28896-6.
  9. ^ William R. Brownfield (May 2011). International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: Volume I: Drug and Chemical Control. DIANE Publishing. pp. 254–255. ISBN 978-1-4379-8272-5.