January 18th, Signing ceremony Governor Albert Bryan Jr. signed the Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act (Act 8680), declaring that anyone convicted of simple cannabis possession would be required to apply for a pardon. rice field.
“Since the beginning of the Brian Roach administration, we have been working towards legalizing adult use of cannabis, and today, I am proud of the hard work of members of the 34th Congress and previous Congresses and the work of my team. We finally got here and finally signed the Virgin Islands Cannabis Usage Act,” Brian said. Press release“This law is my first proposal, including a streamlined regulatory scheme for both medical and adult use, enforcement powers of the Cannabis Regulatory Agency, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for Virgin Islanders, and the creation of revenue streams. It incorporates key aspects of the 2020. It helps fund key government initiatives and operations.”
By law, adults over the age of 21 can possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis, 14 grams of concentrate, and 1 ounce of cannabis products (defined as edibles, ointments, or tinctures). It also includes requirements to create a Cannabis Control Authority, restrictions on business licenses and permits, allowances for those who use cannabis as a sacrament, and instructions for the Cannabis Sales Tax Fund to benefit community programs.
At the ceremony, Bryan said he traveled to Colorado with many other lawmakers in November to see first-hand how the cannabis industry is thriving. By meeting and speaking with individuals involved in all aspects of the industry, from authorities to law enforcement officers, growers, manufacturers, and pharmacy owners, individuals involved in the development of this industry will have a better understanding of the industry in the Virgin Islands. As we worked to create it, we learned best practices and things to avoid,” Brian continued.
He also referenced President Joe Biden’s announcement from October 2022 on expunging citizens convicted of simple cannabis possession. “Today, I declare that all criminal convictions for simple possession of marijuana under Virgin Islands law will be fully and completely pardoned,” Bryan announced. “My office estimates that about 300 people have been convicted of simple possession of marijuana over the last 20 years.”
Anyone convicted of simple cannabis possession in the U.S. Virgin Islands can now apply for a pardon from the Justice Department. For anyone convicted of up to 2 ounces of cannabis, the record is automatically expunged under the Virgin Islands Cannabis Use and Expungement Act. However, Bryan recommends that the best way to ensure an expungement is to apply anyway. “Don’t wait for opportunities to come your way, go out and grab them,” he said.
Like many states, it took the U.S. Virgin Islands some time to establish both medical and adult programs. , Brian signed into law in 2019. Draft rules for the Territory’s medical cannabis program were published in August 2022.
On December 30, 2022, the U.S. Virgin Islands Senate passed Act 8680 by an 11-1 vote. The bill reached Bryan’s desk on January 9, and he had 10 days to decide whether to sign the bill, reject it, or allow it to come into force without signature. Brian signed the bill just one day before the deadline.