Now we know the answer to the question “Can I Fly With Weed On A Private Jet?” thanks to Coca-Cola billionaire Alkiviades “Alki” David. The heir to a Greek Coca-Cola bottling treasure chest was caught with $1.3 million worth of cannabis after a search of his private jet in the Carribean island of St. Kitts.
David was placed under arrest after authorities found 5,000 cannabis plants, as well as seeds and other marijuana goodies, under charges of importing a controlled drug into the country, Possession of Controlled Drugs, and Possession with Intent to Supply. After posting a bail of $30,000, David was ordered to give up all his travel documents.
But according to David, all the plants and seeds were hemp. In an interview with the St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, David denied doing anything illegal. Instead he attested he had “handshake” deals in place with local farmers to grow hemp for him, which he’d later buy and use to produce legal cannabis products through his company SwissX.
“We’re bringing an opportunity to St Kitts which is going to benefit my business, which is to buy as much biomass of hemp we can grow here,” David said. “We’re bringing an opportunity to St Kitts which is going to benefit my business, which is to buy as much biomass of hemp we can grow here.”
Although David dismissed any accusations of lawbreaking as “one or two politicians whose opinions means nothing,” it’s not that clear. According to a local attorney, David’s possession may not be illegal, but his attempts at growing it was. “The mere possession of marijuana seeds is not a crime,” Dr. Henry Browne said. “What is a crime is to have the seeds and to come to an agreement to plant the seeds. Planting the seeds for the purpose of cultivation is a crime.”
Browne also mentioned the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis doesn’t distinguish between marijuana and hemp, or plants with THC vs. those that don’t. Authorities view it collectively as “cannabis” and it’s all illegal under current law.
Following David’s arrest, the Office of Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris released a strongly worded press statement that didn’t explicitly reference the Greek billionaire by name, but clearly regarded this story. Dr. Harris warned that “non-nationals would not be permitted to secure advantages over nationals as we set about to build out a marijuana industry.” The statement added that “the government has not granted any license to anyone to import plants or seeds into the Federation and that [the] administration has not had any conversation with any foreigner about setting up businesses to trade in cannabis.”
Media was barred from David’s trial, though we expect more answer will soon come. Until then kids, remember you can’t just fly to Caribbean islands with $1.3 million worth of cannabis aboard. It is, if we learned anything from David’s story, illegal.