Lawmakers in the U.S. Virgin Islands last week passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, bringing the number of states and territories in the country that have legalized cannabis use by adults to 21. The bill passed the U.S. Virgin Islands Senate on his December 30th. Prove veto with 11 to 1 majority vote. According to media reports, Gov. Albert Bryan, who has expressed strong support for cannabis policy reform, will sign the bill.
The bill was approved along with another bill passed unanimously by senators on Friday that would expunge previous convictions for marijuana-related crimes.
Senator Janelle K. Salau, the initiator of the recreational marijuana legalization bill, said the bill was a joint effort by supporters who overcame opposition to comprehensive cannabis policy reform.
“While there has been a lot of politically based falsehood about this cannabis law, I am proud of the work done by the senators of the 34th Congress, community stakeholders and advocates.” ,” Salauw said in a press release: Posted on Facebook. “The agency will exercise due diligence to protect the best interests of the public and residents by ensuring that local people and minorities are not excluded from the industry but given the opportunity to participate in its economic potential. I paid.”
Senators worked through the holidays to finalize the bill
Senators reportedly worked to resolve some concerns about the proposed bill over the Christmas holidays, eventually making some changes to the bill’s wording in an amended version of the bill.
“It became so controversial that it almost became a war over cannabis.” salau he said jokingly in a statement quoted by Virgin Islands Consortiumadded that “all amendments, all suggestions made by members, are of an alternative nature and are included in the amendments.”
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, a law passed in 2014 decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and in 2019, the territorial legislature passed a bill permitting the medical use of marijuana. Under a bill passed last week, residents and visitors to the Caribbean island territories will be allowed to purchase adult-use cannabis and medical marijuana at licensed dispensaries.
“This bill contains so many provisions across so many different sectors that, if duly implemented and enforced, the Northern Territory will become a comprehensive, diverse and, most importantly, safe industry. will be,” Salauw said in a press release. “We hope the current administration will make the most of both medical and adult use for the benefit of the people of the region.”
Virgin Islands regulations still to come
Although the bill passed with no veto majority and has the support of the territory’s governor, Saraw noted that Congress has yet to pass regulations to govern the cultivation and sale of marijuana. legalized economy.
“Cannabis will be on the governor’s desk soon, but we’re not doing anything to move it forward,” she said. It will be attacked and it will be on the governor’s desk.No rules or regulations have been promulgated, there is no tracking system for each seal.Nothing is moving in this industry.”
The bill passed early Friday morning during Senator Donna A. Frett Gregory’s final session as Senate Speaker of the 34th Congress. She showed her support for the move, noting that the governor and 11 of the territory’s 15 senators traveled to Denver to learn about issues related to cannabis legalization. rice field.
“We spent government money, so it would be irresponsible not to move this law up or down, whatever the 34th Congress decides tonight,” Frett-Gregory said.