Dear Editor, in your Saturday paper it was really underwhelming to read that Chamber of Commerce chief executive Rebecca Tavioni was touting the French Polynesia top three products – fish(tuna), black pearls, and vanilla to be incorporated into the Cook Islands economy.
This is all well and fine but it is small potatoes and it pales in importance to the lucrative medicinal cannabis industry that we need to get up and running in the Cook Islands to immediately decrease our nation’s soaring debt.
Polynesia has no medicinal cannabis industry, we are on the verge of a just and
equitable medicinal cannabis industry.
benefits of millions of dollars raised in tax, fees and licensing revenues
related to medicinal marijuana sales must be our top priority.
Chamber of Commerce needs to hit the ground running to liaise with the
Government to regulate the industry so it’s safe and legal and by reinvesting
the tax revenue earned from marijuana sales, we’ll begin to rebuild our
community devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chamber needs to work with the Government in preventing corruption and
preserving competition in our soon to be medicinal cannabis industry.
many industries in the Cook Islands, the medicinal cannabis industry must
fundamentally rest on fair competition and creating opportunities for
working families, the Chamber needs to vigilantly work to prevent the
corporate and crony capitalism that is so prevalent in our society.
need to get in there and help small farmers and investors in this highly
profitable industry with smart regulations that preserve access and
can help preserve market access and competition for the small players in our
nation to help them enrich themselves and their families. And they need to help
consumers by closely regulating the safety and marketing of cannabis products.
the Chamber of Commerce needs to pursue all capitalist ventures with
French Polynesia but they must be on the back burner because the Cook Islands is
moving away from the policies of marijuana prohibition, and cannabis products
can create significant business opportunities with broad scale riches.
one more thing of note Mr. Editor, in your Saturday paper, was Cook Islands
Tourism Corporation chief executive Karla Eggelton discussing Air
Tahiti Nui operations for connectivity into the US and
is a veritable dead end street, our best way forward is to bring back the LA to
Raro flight, in order to do this the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation needs to
stay at home and start working the phones and start concentrating on making
money hand over fist by promoting our medicinal cannabis industry for tourists
to flock to.
increased revenue can be used to up the ante to entice Air New Zealand to
bring back the LA to Raro flight. (Prime Minister) Mark Brown needs to directly
negotiate with (New Zealand PM) Jacinda Ardern to do everything he can to make
this happen or we are in for a world of hurt.
Reply – It is good to see such enthusiasm for potential future markets within our country, it is also reassuring to know the activities the Chamber is currently active in such as the review of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy is in line with your writer’s opinion. Should the writer have comments on the draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy – which is currently open for public comment until 27 August 2022 – please feel free to share them with our office or voice directly with the coordinating government agency. The Chamber has formulated a response to government encompassing of all private sector industries. The Chamber is non-selective in the businesses and industries it supports to operate in te Iti Tangata and prioritizes matters in accordance with the direct impact it has on our membership group. To learn more about the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce and the activities undertaken within our office feel free to stop by our office.
Rebecca Tavioni, CEO
Chamber of Commerce
– Sixty-two (62) per cent of the voters said “yes” to the cannabis referendum
during the 2022 general election on August 1 – 35 per cent voted “no” and the
remaining 3 per cent were “informal”. Voters were asked to vote on a referendum
asking “Should we review our cannabis laws to allow for research and medicinal
use?” Prime Minister Mark Brown earlier said overwhelming favourable response
to the cannabis referendum will allow the Government to move quickly in
legalising medicinal cannabis and opening up further research. Government will
be looking very quickly to establish a regime to allow doctors to prescribe
medicinal cannabis for their patients.