The Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR) is the USVI regulatory body proposed to oversee all cannabis related matters in the territory. The OCR will be under the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA). Led by the 9-member USVI Cannabis Advisory Board, the OCR will be in charge of:
- Registering & issuing medical marijuana cards (referred to as “med cards”)
- Regulating acceptable medical conditions for medicinal use
- Licensing marijuana growers, cannabis testing facilities, and dispensaries
With the passing of adult-use cannabis in the Virgin Islands on 18 January 2023, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. signed into law the Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act (Act 8680), which allows for the legal use by adults for medicinal, sacramental and other uses and also regulates the production, distribution and use of cannabis.
The Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act (MCPCA) details the regulations and sets the fees for starting a “medical marijuana facility” in the USVI. Here’s an outline of what you need to keep in mind when starting your own dispensary, manufacturing, or grow operation.
It is unclear when the regulations of the newly approved industry will be in place.
The MCPCA states that you must be resident for at least 2 years before applying for some license and as many as 5 for others. Furthermore, the majority owner or shareholders of any cannabis business must also have been a resident for at least 5 years.
The Virgin Islands MCPCA sets a “horizontal market” in the cannabis industry. In other words, no business may hold multiple licenses to control a supply chain from growing to dispensing.
If you are an investor, residency rules do not apply, but you can only own less than 50% of the business. The majority stakeholders must meet the residency requirements.
The MCPCA states that a dispensary must be 500 feet from any public or private school in the territory.