Legal /

Gigi Hadid Arrested, Pleads Guilty to Marijuana Possession in Cayman Islands

The model was released on bail and fined $1,000

Gigi Hadid pleaded guilty to marijuana possession after being arrested while on vacation in the Cayman Islands.

The model was fined $1,000 after marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in her luggage by Customs & Border Control. Hadid and several of her friends had privately flown to the islands from the United States on July 10.

Marijuana and related items were also found in luggage belonging to Leah Nicole McCarthy, one of Hadid’s friends, after the groups’ bags were scanned and then hand searched at Owen Roberts International Airport.

“The quantities were relatively small and were seemingly for personal consumption,” reports the Cayman Marl Road.

Both women were arrested on suspicion of Importation of Ganja and Importation of Utensils used for the consumption of ganja and taken to the Prisoner Detention Center before being released on bail. Hadid and McCarthy appeared in Summary court on July 12 where they were formally charged and fined. 

“Cannabis in the Cayman Islands is illegal but limited usage of CBD oil has been  allowed for medical purposes since 2016,” per The Daily Mail. According to the outlet, a representative for Hadid confirmed she has been traveling with marijuana that was “purchased legally in NYC with a medical license.”

Medical cannabis was legalized in the Cayman Islands in May of 2017. Cannabis can be prescribed to treat several ailments including pain management, nausea from chemotherapy, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. 

However, the recreational use of cannabis remains illegal – this includes possession, importation, manufacture, sale or distribution of cannabis,” according to “It is illegal to travel in and out of Cayman with all forms of cannabis even when prescribed for medicinal purposes.”

Medical and recreational marijuana use is permitted in several countries in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda. 

Medical cannabis in the Caribbean is a relatively new concept, but it is quickly gaining popularity. In fact, the cannabis industry in the Caribbean is expected to grow from $30 million in 2017 to $650 million by 2025,” noted Frost Denver Dispensary. “Additionally, legalization could help to boost tourism in these countries by attracting marijuana tourists.”

According to a 2022 report from Forbes, cannabis tourism has become a $17 billion industry in America with 18% of adults interested in cannabis-related vacation experiences. 

Hadid posted photos from the vacation twice on Instagram, where she has 78.8 million followers, on July 12. After news of her arrest broke on July 18, she posted an additional collection of photos with the caption “All’s well that ends well.”

McCarthy, who has 156,000 followers, followed suit shortly after – sharing images from the trip with the caption “Being this cute? Guilty on all charges.”

*For corrections please email [email protected]*