U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. Virgin Islands Approves Long-Awaited Cannabis Legalization Plan

The U.S. Virgin Islands Cannabis Board voted on Tuesday to approve long-awaited rules and regulations for the territory’s adult-use cannabis industry, which was approved by lawmakers last January.

Full story after the jump.

Officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands have approved a list of rules and regulations governing adult cannabis access in the territory, the Associated Press reports.

Lawmakers approved the legalization policy last January but its implementation has stalled until this point. “We have been waiting a very long time for this,” said Dr. Catherine Kean, chairperson for the advisory board which passed the regulations on Tuesday.

Next, there will be a 30-day window for public feedback on the proposed rules.

Additionally, officials say they are finalizing the list of people who are qualified to have their cannabis-related criminal records expunged under the territory’s legalization policy. About 300 people were convicted for cannabis possession in the U.S. Virgin Islands over the last 20 years, the report said.

Under the adult-use law, adults aged 21+ are allowed to possess up to two ounces of cannabis, a half-ounce of cannabis concentrates, and up to one ounce of cannabis-infused edibles. Dispensary sales will be taxed a minimum of 18% with three-fourths of cannabis tax revenue reserved for the general fund including specific carveouts for behavioral health programs, youth programs, and addressing the housing crisis.

Hannah Carty, Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Cannabis Board, predicts in the report that cannabis entrepreneurs will be able to start the registration process this summer but that cultivation and manufacturing licenses will not arrive before next year.

The delays are sadly nothing new for cannabis advocates in the island territory, where medical cannabis was legalized in 2019 and yet a functional program has yet to be realized.

Cannabis possession of up to an ounce has been decriminalized in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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