In case you might have missed it with your year end festivities, the U.S. Virgin Islands became the latest U.S. region to legalize adult-use cannabis. Once regulations are finalized, the rules will allow residents and visitors to purchase medical and/or recreational cannabis products from licensed dispensaries. The bill was signed by Governor Bryant and is now effective.
The legislation also includes provisions proposed by Senators Sarauw and Bolques and automatically expunges cannabis possession charges in the territory.
Medical cannabis was previously approved in 2019 but the legislature continues to work on the applicable rules and regulations for the program.
It is estimated by Commissioner Richard Evangelista that it will likely be another 18-24 months before the government can finalize the applicable regulations for medical and adult use.
Sarauw said that even now, with adult-use reforms now heading to the governor’s desk, “we have done absolutely nothing to move cannabis forward.”
At the moment, current rules decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Key Take Away – the USVI has now officially approved adult use cannabis which will likely spark (sorry, could not resist) multiple businesses and business lines to look to establish operations in the Territory. Grow, manufacture, dispensing and businesses supporting these operations are sure to continue their thought processes as to how to engage and become licensed pending final rules to be issued by the Department of Licenses and Consumer Affairs.
Duane Morris has an active Cannabis Team to help organizations and individuals plan, respond to, and execute on your cannabis and hemp initiatives. We would be happy to discuss your proposed project and how these new rules might apply to you. For more information or if you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, or Tracy Gallegos, Seth Goldberg, or Paul Josephson who co-head the Cannabis Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you in regular contact .