U.S. Virgin Islands Lawmakers Send Marijuana Legalization And Expungement Bills To Governor


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The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is set to join the growing ranks of jurisdictions in the country to legalize marijuana, with the territory’s Senate approving a comprehensive cannabis reform bill and separate expungements legislation on Friday.

Here are some details

Adults over the age of 21 could possess up to two ounces of marijuana, fourteen grams of cannabis concentres and one ounce of cannabis products such as edibles, ointments and tinctures.

The legislation would create an Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR), tasked with issuing marijuana business licenses, overseeing the industry and setting rules on issues like advertising, packaging and labeling.

There would be several license and permit types, including for cannabis manufacturers, retailers, cultivators, micro-cultivators, testing laboratories and on-site consumption entities.

There would be caps on how many licenses OCR could grant for each of the territory’s main islands. Regulators could issue more after January 1, 2025 if they conduct a study demonstrating that the expansion is needed to meet consumer demand.

Individuals who use marijuana for sacramental purposes could apply for their own cultivation permits.

There would be a tax of no less than 18 percent on marijuana purchased from dispensaries, but that would not apply to medical cannabis. The bill also lays out licensing fees and calls for a 50 cent per gram tax on cannabis cultivators who sell marijuana to other licensees.

Revenue would be split among programs to address behavioral health, homelessness and youth recreation, as well as administration of the cannabis program and the territory’s general fund.

There would be a track-and-trace program for cannabis products.

There are also several equity components in the legalization bill, including prioritized application scoring for minority, women and service-injured entrepreneurs.

There would be a 100 milligram THC cap on edibles, and each serving could contain up to 10 milligrams.

Additionally, there are residency requirements for marijuana business ownership.

There are packaging and labeling restrictions, with the bill stipulating that labels must include health warnings and be designed in a way that doesn’t appeal to people under 21.

U.S. Virgin Islands Lawmakers Send Marijuana Legalization And Expungement Bills To Governor - Marijuana Moment