The Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority (BMCLA) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a strategic agreement with The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus (UWI Cave Hill) TradeLab clinic managed by the Faculty of Law and the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services (SRC).

This initiative is led by co-directors, Dr. Ronnie Yearwood, lecturer in law at the Faculty of Law and Dr. Jan Remy, Deputy Director of the SRC.

UWI Cave Hill is home to one of the newest and the first TradeLab clinics in the Caribbean. TradeLab is a prestigious network of Universities across the world. TradeLab uses a practical teaching method, involving legal clinics to engage law students across the world to provide free legal advice on trade and investment issues to developing country beneficiaries.

This semester's TradeLab clinic engages UWI Cave Hill Faculty of Law students in researching and writing a legal memorandum titled An assessment of the IP regime for the promotion of trade and investment in the Cannabis industry in Barbados.

Chief Executive Officer of the BMCLA, Dr Shantal Munro-Knight, said, "We believe this is an ideal partnership with The UWI, whose track record for research and development is beyond reproach, to work on this project. Because as our industry starts to grow, we expect to see companies acquire IP in order to protect their rights as part of their broader strategy to participate in the global market."

She continued: "Globally, we have seen acquisitions by large players in the sector - evidence of the potential for significant shareholder value creation - formalize and protect their IP. This is an important learning lesson for us to get our act together early into the roll out of the local industry. It is also how we signal the BMCLA's commitment to creating a culture of innovation which is part of our core values and to securing IP rights as a critical component of our long-term growth strategy."

Dr. Yearwood stated that, "the project with the BMCLA is important as it is providing research support to the BMCLA on how having a strong IP regime can be critical for the development of the cannabis industry in Barbados, because investors will often be concerned about protecting their investment in IP in the industry. The project is about to conclude with the students producing a research memorandum of their findings to the BMCLA. "

Dr. Remy underscored the importance of the "practical" approach to learning that is exemplified by TradeLab. She noted that "this is the third year that we have been running TradeLab at The UWI and we are amazed at how much time, focus and professionalism our students exhibit in serving their beneficiary clients. It is a fantastic way of introducing students to the real world of serving clients in their region and we are so happy that once again our students have delivered to their community."

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