U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Introduces Revised Cannabis Legalization Bill
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U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Introduces Revised Cannabis Legalization Bill

The new version of Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.’s legislation is based on public consultations and meetings with lawmakers.

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May 22, 2020

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has introduced a revised cannabis legalization bill based on public consultations and meetings with lawmakers, according to a Cannabis Wire report.

The legislation, called the Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act, would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and consume cannabis, and would create a regulatory framework to license businesses for cannabis cultivation, processing and on-site consumption.

The original version of the bill stalled in the Senate when it was introduced in December, Cannabis Wire reported, but Bryan is now urging the legislature to expedite the legislation in the hopes that cannabis can be a new source of revenue to fund the Virgin Islands’ Government Employees Retirement System (GERS), which faces insolvency by 2025. Under the Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act, 75% of revenue generated from cannabis taxes and licensing fees would go toward the GERS.

The allocation of cannabis tax revenue was a cause for concern among lawmakers when the original cannabis legalization bill was proposed last year, according to Cannabis Wire, with some lawmakers questioning its ability to save the retirement fund.