Photo by John Winther

News | 01.26.2023

U.S. Virgin Islands Legalizes Recreational Adult-Use Cannabis

Although medical marijuana laws have passed, they were fully implemented this week, along with recreational adult use.

The road to federal cannabis legalization has been a long one. And it’s still not over. 

New states and territories are leading by example by governing their own laws regarding the plant and how we can use it. The latest to legalize recreational adult-use cannabis and medical marijuana is the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed legislation this week to put the law into action. The majority of lawmakers were in favor of bringing a new cannabis bill to Gov. Bryan’s attention when voting for it last December. 

After all, the U.S. Virgin Islands had legalized medical cannabis in 2019, but the regulations were never fully finalized, and the law hadn’t completely rolled out until this week, along with recreational adult-use cannabis. 

The Office of Cannabis Regulation is currently drafting a new set of regulations regarding the following steps for legalizing adult-use cannabis and medical marijuana:

  • Licensing
  • Testing
  • Cultivation
  • Manufacture
  • Sale

Meanwhile, the production, distribution, and use of cannabis have already been included in the bill, dubbed The Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act. There’s positive anticipation regarding the territory’s upcoming influx of revenue, thanks to its blossoming cannabis scene. 

The only hold-up from launching retail businesses and dispensaries is waiting for the list of regulations regarding the sale of adult-use cannabis and dispensary licensing. There’s currently no word on when the U.S. Virgin Islands will open dispensaries and launch sales. 

Following the orders of President Biden after he urged state governors to consider pardoning those convicted of marijuana possession, Gov. Bryan plans on doing just that. He’s penned regulations to allow those convicted of marijuana possession to apply to have their records pardoned by the Virgin Islands Department of Justice. 

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