U.S. Virgin Islands Cannabis License Guidelines

Office of Cannabis Regulation

U.S. Virgin Islands Cannabis License Guidelines

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, and licensing marijuana growers, cannabis testing facilities, as well as dispensaries.

For a patient to be eligible for a med card, a medical practitioner must prescribe the use of cannabis for a qualifying medical condition.

Specifically, the USVI MCPCA describes the patient must have:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C
  • ALS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • PTSD
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Hospice care
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pain
  • Neuropathic pains
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis;
  • Any chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment or the symptoms related to any medical condition for which a healthcare practitioner believes the use of medical cannabis will provide a therapeutic or palliative benefit to his or her patient; or
  • Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the OCR

U.S. Virgin Islands Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the US Virgin Islands medical cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:

FAQs

Is medical marijuana legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Medical Marijuana was legalized in the U.S. Virgin Islands on January 19th, 2019 by Governor Albert Bryan Jr. However, as of April 2022, medical cannabis is still not available in the USVI. Governor Bryan has yet to name enough members to the VI Cannabis Advisory Board (VICAB) to reach a quorum.

The quorum-less VICAB has released preliminary rules and regulations, with the hopes of getting a quorum in June/July ’22 with prospective members being approved by the Senate.

Is recreational marijuana legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Recreational marijuana is not legal in the USVI. Legislation was introduced in late 2019 to make cannabis legal in the territory. However, the legislation has little chance of becoming law.

On December 3rd 2019, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. introduced the VI Cannabis Use Act. The bill was a complete replacement of the existing medical cannabis bill. However, the Governor was criticized for creating a recreational cannabis bill when he has failed to implement the medical bill.

As of April 2022, the adult-use legalization bill remains in committee. No further updates or amendments have been introduced to make weed legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

What are the Penalties for Cannabis Possession in the US Virgin Islands?

Current penalties for Marijuana consumption and distribution in the VI:

  • Possession of less than 1oz. of Marijuana can result in confiscation and/or fine of $100-$200.
  • More than 1oz. can result in a larger fine and possibly jail time.
  • Confiscation and a mandated drug awareness program for any minor caught with any amount of marijuana.
  • Selling and distribution still has stiff penalties.

U.S. Virgin Islands Cannabis License Types

Dispensaries

Virgin Island dispensaries will be able to buy directly from both growers and processing facilities.  From there, they will sell medical marijuana products to med-card holders. Dispensaries will also collect taxes (5% of sales) and pass them along to BIR.

The fee to start your dispensary in the US Virgin Islands is $5,000. With an annual renewal rate of the same price.

Your application must be perfect with all the required documents and stipulations set by the MCPCA and the OCR. Applications that are denied will only be reimbursed $2,500 of their $5,000 application fee. Seek a professional before submitting your application!

To successfully apply for your dispensary license you will need:

  • Legal Name of the Dispensary
  • Physical address of the prospective Dispensary
  • Names, birth dates, proof of residency for all owners and investors of the Dispensary
  • Business Plan, including plans for security, record keeping and product diversion mitigation

The OCR will require more information when they start processing applications.

Growers

Licensing regulations for cannabis growers in the USVI will have different tiers according to the number of plants at the grow facility. The growers licensing levels are:

  • Tier 1 – Not to exceed 100 plants
  • Tier 2 – Not to exceed 500 plants
  • Tier 3 – Not to exceed 1,000 plants

The MCPCA states that these are the total plant counts a GrowOp may have, not just flowering cannabis plants.

Growers can only sell marijuana to processing facilities or dispensaries, they are not allowed to sell to med card holders directly.

The MCPCA taxes the sale of marijuana from growers to dispensaries and processing facilities at 10% of their per-pound selling prices. Each grow operation will be responsible for collecting these taxes and turning them into the VI Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Finally, growers may not produce anything more than flowers or plant-based products. Therefore, only processing facilities may produce edibles, concentrates, extracts, salves, etc.

Local established farms will receive a $500 discount on all growers licenses.

Grow Op licenses in the USVI are broken up into three levels. Each settings the maximum amount of plants on hand for a grow operation.

  • 100 Plants – $1000 – Level I
  • 500 Plants – $3000 – Level II
  • 1000 Plants – $5000 – Level III

For established local farmers:

  • 100 Plants – $500 – Level I
  • 500 Plants – $2500 – Level II
  • 1000 Plants – $4500 – Level III

Manufacturing Facilities

Processing facilities are the only businesses that can manufacture cannabis products, and must sell their goods to dispensaries. Patients can not directly buy from manufacturers.

A U.S. Virgin Islands Manufacturing License costs $5000. This license allows businesses to manufacture marijuana products, such as concentrates, edibles, baths, balms, or any other product that contains THC.

More manufacturing guidelines are listed as Coming Soon on the USVI website.

Testing

Though testing facilities are included in the law, their functions and regulations are not clear. After briefly mentioning these “testing facilities”, the MCPCA gives neither rules nor licensing fees.

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