U.S. Virgin Islands Considering Cannabis Legalization

Gov. Albert Bryan of the U.S. Virgin Islands is considering adult-use cannabis legalization as a means of reinforcing the Government Employees’ Retirement System with $20 million in annual tax revenue.

Full story after the jump.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) is pushing for adult-use cannabis legalization in the territory, moving to add broad legalization to a medical cannabis bill being considered by lawmakers, according to a Vibe High report. The move is aimed at preventing a collapse of the Government Employees’ Retirement System and the governor expects $20 million in annual revenue from legalization.

Under the plan, cannabis taxes would be set at 30 percent; 75 percent of that would go toward the pension system, 20 percent would be used toward senior citizen initiatives, and 5 percent would go back into the Office of Cannabis Regulations.

Dispensaries would be required to sell 70 percent of all of their products from local farms; the other 30 percent may come from the dispensaries themselves, but it is not laid out in the governor’s proposal.

The legislation also includes criminal justice reform, such as record expungements for any convictions under 1 pound. The measure will also include language recognizing cannabis as a sacrament to the Rastafarian community and will provide opportunities for Rastafarians to grow their own crops and open dispensaries.

According to a Marijuana Moment report, the government will also offer cannabis “day passes” for tourists – which Bryan suggested could be $10 per day and worth up to $2 million considering peak tourism numbers for the island.

The Legislature will consider the amendment in two weeks.

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