U.S. Virgin Islands Officials Working Toward Approval of Medical Cannabis Regulations
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U.S. Virgin Islands Officials Working Toward Approval of Medical Cannabis Regulations

The U.S. territory legalized medical cannabis in 2019, but the Cannabis Advisory Board has yet to finalize the rules for the program.

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May 20, 2022

U.S. Virgin Islands officials are working toward approving medical cannabis regulations, although it remains unclear when rules will be finalized for the program, which was legalized in 2019.

The USVI Cannabis Advisory Board (VICAB), the oversight board for the medical cannabis industry, held a Town Hall meeting Feb. 28 and published proposed rules online, according to The Virgin Islands Daily News.

The draft rules are still under review by the V.I. Justice Department, the news outlet reported. Once the department completes its review, the VICAB will meet again to review and approve the proposed regulations. That will trigger a new 30-day public comment period, according to The Virgin Islands Daily News, after which the board will review the comments and meet one more time to approval the final rules.

V.I. Office of Cannabis Regulation Executive Director Hannah Carty told the news outlet that it will take roughly 55 days to roll out the medical cannabis business application process once the final rules are adopted.

“It takes time and is a very detailed process,” Carty said. “We only get one chance to get the rollout correct, and we need to be as thorough as possible. This has been a lengthy process, but we will all be more appreciative of a product that is cohesive and well-thought out.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands legalized medical cannabis in 2014 through a voter-approved referendum and the Legislature passed legislation in 2018 to implement the program, according to The Virgin Islands Daily News. Gov. Albert Bryan signed the bill into law in 2019, and the VICAB held its first meeting in January 2020.