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Cabinet takes action on cannabis, e-crime, taxes and CSME

Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2021. 1:18 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize’s executive body, Cabinet, has approved the amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act to provide for the creation of a regulated, responsible cannabis industry in its regular Tuesday meeting.

This follows the admonition of Prime Minister John Briceño that the country move toward legalization of cannabis use after the possession of ten grams or less was decriminalized in 2017.

Defaulters on taxes will now be pursued at criminal and civil jurisdiction as part of approved amendments to the Tax Administration and Procedure Act, which regulates the Belize Tax Services Department.

Cabinet also gave its approval for the introduction of key E-Governance Legislation relating to electronic transactions, data sharing and protection, and a new Electronic Transfer of Funds Crime Bill. This is expected to be a companion to the Cyber Crime Act passed by the previous administration.

Wednesday’s relaunch of the national vaccination campaign was also part of discussions, as the Executive heard from health professionals at the Ministry of Health & Wellness on the current state of affairs with respect to COVID-19, including recommendations for new measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Finally, Cabinet was apprised of the challenges Belize and other member states in CARICOM face in advancing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) integration process. To this end, Cabinet took note of the actions necessary to overcome those challenges and approved the appointment of persons in various ministries to support the work to implement policies relevant to Belize regarding the CSME.  

 

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