Greek Billionaire Alkiviades “Alki” David was arrested on May 9 on multiple drug charges after flying to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts on a private jet loaded with 5,000 cannabis plants, seeds, and cannabidiol(CBD) valued at $1.3 million. Cannabidiol is a chemical that supposedly has health and wellness properties but unlike marijuana, does not contain any psychoactive properties.
David says he is working to create a major consortium of cannabis growers throughout the Caribbean and wanted to start a farming operation in St. Kitts. Originally detained on May 7, David was formally arrested two days later and bail was set at $300,000. Released the day after his arrest, David jetted back to Burbank, California without his cannabis plants, which St. Kitts and Nevis authorities seized as evidence. David is due back in court on September 23.
David is heir to the Greek Coca Cola bottling fortune and is a major stakeholder in Leventis-David Group. Leventis-David Group owns Coca Cola Hellenic, which bottles the popular soft drink in 28 different countries.
An entrepreneur, David has branched out into multiple businesses, including CBD. “The Eastern Caribbean is in a perfect position as cannabis shifts from being an illegal $400 billion business globally to a legal one worth 10 times that,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “It will be the Silicon Valley of cannabis, the Wall Street, the Hollywood,” he added.
Here’s what you need to know about Alki David and how his St. Kitts cannabis deal went up in smoke.
1. There Are Differing Accounts as to What Happened in St. Kitts
According to David, he had traveled to St. Kitts and Nevis at the invitation of former Prime Minister Denzil Douglas. Their plan was to meet about developing a major hemp farming operation on the island which would provide jobs and reduce poverty. According to David’s spokesperson, he informed authorities in advance that the plants and other items on his personal jet were all legal hemp products.
On the same day as David’s arrest, Prime Minister Timothy Harris introduced and had read Cannabis Bill, 2019, in the National Assembly. When successfully passed, the legislation will regulate the use of cannabis for medicinal, recreational and religious purposes. But the legislation is clear that only citizens will profit.