Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nick Gent, has issued guidance to health care professionals on the possession and use of cannabinol and cannabinol derivatives in the Cayman Islands.
Following a report, and subsequent complaint, about a young person becoming ill after being able to access edible cannabinol/ cannabinol derivative products from a local pharmacy via a local delivery service, Dr. Gent initiated a set of inquiries in light of the public interest and impact on public health.
“It became evident, fairly early on, that some health care professionals are not certain of what relevant Cayman laws permits or prohibits when it comes to products containing cannabinol or its derivatives,” Dr. Gent explains. “There are concerning misconceptions where many professionals believe that local law allows for the importation and general sale of products containing cannabinols if derived from hemp and products containing certain forms of psychoactive cannabinol derivatives- mainly the tetrahydrocannabidiol isomers or THCs,” he adds.
Dr. Gent believes the misconceptions likely stem from the assumption that certain legal provisions and exemptions which exist and are in effect in the United States also apply to the Cayman Islands. “This is absolutely not the case,” Dr. Gent stresses. “We are guided by local laws, and in this case the Misuse of Drugs Act (2017 Revision).”
As such, Dr. Gent has issued an advisory note to all health care professionals registered as clinical practitioners in the Cayman Islands as follows:
- All clinical practitioners should be careful to only prescribe, dispense, or use cannabinol and cannabinol derivative products by reference to the Misuse of Drugs Act (2017 Revision);
- For the purpose of clarity, there are no exemptions in Cayman Islands law for the importation and sale of hemp derived products;
- All isomers of tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act (2017 Revision);
- As specified in the Misuse of Drugs Act (2017 Revision), the use of properly formulated medicines is to be preferred when prescribing cannabinol and cannabinol derivatives for clinical care.
“Our aim is to ensure that all health care professionals are informed and compliant, so I encourage any health professional who needs further guidance and assistance to contact me directly,” Dr. Gent adds.
The Misuse of Drugs Act (2017 Revision) can be found on https://cbc.gov.ky/images/documents/MISUSE-OF-DRUGS-LAW-2017.pdf