Model Gigi Hadid Uses Medical Defense for Marijuana Bust on Grand Cayman

Gigi Hadid (image via of Coca-Cola)

Model Gigi Hadid's pot bust at the airport on Grand Caymnan Island is not that unusual. International airports are common places for drug arrests. Ask Brittney Griner.

Hadid and her friend Leah McCarthy got off easy with fines of $1,000 after Customs agents at Owen Roberts International Airport found flower and paraphernalia in their luggage on July 10.

According to local news source Cayman Marl Road:

During the search of their luggage, ganja and utensils used for the consumption of ganja were found in the luggage of both passengers. The quantities were relatively small and were seemingly for personal consumption.

Both female passengers were arrested on suspicion of Importation of Ganja and Importation of Utensils used for the consumption of ganja. They were both taken to the Prisoner Detention Center for processing and subsequently released on bail pending a ruling on the case by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

On Wednesday, 12 July 2023, Gigi Hadid and McCarthy appeared in  Summary Court and were charged. They pleaded guilty and were each fined $1,000.00, and no conviction was recorded.

Followup reports claim "Gigi was travelling with marijuana that she purchased legally from NYC with a medical license," according to her representative, who added:

"It (marijuana) is also legal for medical use in Grand Cayman since 2017. Her record remains clear and she enjoyed the rest of her time on the island." 

The article refutes these two defenses:

Cannabis or ganja is illegal in the Cayman Islands, but the use of CDB oil is allowed for persons who have the requisite doctor's certification to obtain it. Hadid has since claimed she had a medical card; however, officials said the card she had is not valid in Cayman.

Hadid (her real first name is Jelena), 28, is from Los Angeles and was born in Malibu. She owns a $4 million apartment in New York. It is possible that she has received a medical recommendation in New York. Hadid suffers from Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that inflames the thyroid gland. However, it is not on the list of conditions required to receive approval to make purchases at the state's legal dispensaries. More likely, she brought cannabis either from a legal adult-use dispensary in New York or an unregulated one and took it with her on vacation.

On July 18, she posted at Instagram with a photo of her and McCarthy on the beach:

All’s well that ends well

Gigi Hadid and Leah McCarthy on Grand Cayman Island where they were busted for possessing marijuana on July 10. (image via IG)

Hadid has been linked to Leonardo DiCaprio and previously lived with One Direction's Zayn Malik. They have a child. One of the most popular models and influencers in the world, Hadid annouced her involvement with a Coca-Cola campaign in April. Maybe she'll do one for a cannabis company next. 


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.