US Virgin Islands Advances Recreational Marijuana Legislation

Possession Of Marijuana High
US Virgin Islands Advances Recreational Marijuana Legislation 2

In a significant move, the US Virgin Islands is progressing with the implementation of a law permitting recreational marijuana use, a development that had been stagnant for over a year. On Tuesday, an advisory board in the territory endorsed a set of proposed rules and regulations to oversee cannabis use recreationally across its three islands.

This approval marks a crucial milestone towards enacting the legislation, which was passed more than a year ago but has since awaited operational guidelines. Dr. Catherine Kean, chairperson of the advisory board, expressed relief at the progress, noting, “We have been waiting a very long time for this.”

A forthcoming 30-day public comment period on the proposed regulations will soon commence, inviting community feedback.

Additionally, the board is working on identifying individuals eligible for expungement of criminal records related to simple cannabis possession, as stipulated by the law. Over the past two decades, approximately 300 people have been convicted for such offenses in the territory. The finalized list of eligible individuals for expungement will be shared with legislators, the Supreme Court, and other stakeholders in the coming weeks, according to board member Positive Nelson.

The board is also establishing a registration system for those using cannabis for medicinal or sacramental purposes, expected to be accessible by April, shared Hannah Carty, the board’s executive director. Religious and faith organizations will be required to pay a $200 registration fee every two years, while medical practitioners will face a $250 charge.

Carty further disclosed plans for businesses to commence registration by June or July, following the completion of a request-for-proposal process for seed-to-sale operations. However, she noted that licenses for cultivation and manufacturing are unlikely to be issued before the year’s end.

This legislative progress in the US Virgin Islands represents a significant shift in the territory’s approach to marijuana, aligning with broader trends towards legalization and decriminalization observed in various jurisdictions.

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