The cannabis industry in the Caribbean mirrors the danger of the U.S. cash-only industry and the lure for criminals given the large amounts of cannabis and cash. In the town of Vermont (not to be confused with the U.S. state) on the island country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the Caribbean, five would-be armed robbers were thwarted on Friday, Jan. 27 by a deputy guard at a dispensary. Due to quick thinking and a fast response, the perpetrators were caught mid-robbery while they were still at the site.
Green Lava Labs is a medical cannabis company and dispensary in the Queensbury area of Vermont. As one of the first Class-C license holders in the country, a great deal of cannabis and a steady cash flow made it a prime target.
St. Vincent Times reports that five men, one brandishing a gun and another brandishing a “cutlass,” allegedly entered the dispensary at 2:00 am at night forcefully and injured at least one person. The five assailants allegedly attempted to break into the dispensary’s storage area. But a deputy from an armed security agency was quickly dispatched, returning fire and forcing the robbers to flee before they could make off with the loot.
“Our armed security operative engaged the bandits directly, firing several shots, causing the bandits to flee, without being able to break into the building and storage rooms,” Sheriff PSS Inc stated.
A deputy was dispatched to the premises promptly within 15 minutes, while the suspects were still on-site, officials said.
“Operations Control was contacted and our Executive Director Mr. Jason Greene and Operations Commander Mr. Cox responded immediately to provide additional support. The police [were] contacted and responded promptly within 15 minutes,” the release reads.
A caretaker who was on the premises was injured during the incident.
“The live-in caretaker on the estate was injured during the incident and taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital by Sheriff PSS Inc for medical attention,” the report continued.
“Sheriff takes this opportunity to remind the nation that we are serious about asset protection as SVG’s only tactical security agency. We stand ready to serve citizens and the business community as the #1 source for reliable, competent and efficient Asset Protection Agents and Security solutions.”
Government officials at SVG issued the first licenses to cultivate medical cannabis in 2019.
Green Lava Labs Leader in the Caribbean
Green Lava Labs was launched in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 15, 2019. Green Lava was among the first companies to be granted a Class-C Medical Marijuana Cultivation license in the country. The license allows them to extract, import, export, dispense, and cultivate up to 25 acres of cannabis.
Green Lava has the capacity of over 8,000 pounds of cannabis per year and future plans to reach the full capacity of its allowed 25 acres that should allow the company to produce over 35,000 pounds of cannabis per year.
The company’s grand opening was significant enough to attract Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves; Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar; a Senior Official of the Medical Cannabis Authority; and officials to attend.
The company offers flower, pre-rolls, CBD-infused products, and more.
The company also has other locations including one in Jamaica.
Business is once again booming in SVG’s medical cannabis industry, Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves reported earlier this year. This follows a slow, discouraging period due to COVID pandemic restrictions and devastation caused by the La Soufriere volcano eruption.