THE WEST INDIAN Tobacco Co Ltd (Witco) has no immediate plans to enter the commercial marijuana market, managing director Jean-Pierre Du Coudray said on Friday.
The company is, however, monitoring the developments as the legislation regarding decriminalisation and commercialisation of marijuana continue to be fine-tuned. Last month, possession less than 30 grammes of marijuana was among the offences decriminalised in the proclamation of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act.
“We are all eagerly awaiting to see how this rolls out, no pun intended. Certainly our position at this point is to monitor and that is (parent company British American Tobacco’s) position worldwide. I guess some point in time BAT will make a decision how or when it enters the market. As of now BAT has no short term plans to enter the market,” Du Coudray told media at a press briefing at the company’s Mt Lambert factory.
Witco is exploring vaping, and is doing more research on the TT market. “We are doing research about what TT consumers are looking for. We have once chance so we want to make sure we have the right portfolio best-suited to the consumer here. He said in 2021 the company would probably get more active in that area.
Witco’s factory is the only BAT enterprise in the English-speaking Caribbean, and as such exports to the 24 countries in region, which is why cigarettes are one of TT’s top non-energy exports. Sixty per cent of the company’s product is exported. It earns about US$15 million a year from exports.