MCPCA Sets 2-Year Residency Rule
The Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act (MCPCA) just made medicinal marijuana legal in the USVI. Here, we take a look at how residents of St Thomas, St John, and St Croix will fair under the new MCPCA law.
Senator “Positive” Nelson was concerned that outside investors would dominate the new market. He took precautions by writing the MCPCA so locals have an advantage over non-residents for starting cannabis-related businesses. Therefore ensuring that residents will lead shaping the local medical marijuana market.
A two-year residency rule applies to every medical marijuana business in the Virgin Islands, which requires:
The majority of principal officers, and a majority of members of the board of directors, and a majority of shareholders or owners, as measured by the total number of shares issued, or percentage of total ownership interests, are residents of the Virgin Islands, and have maintained such residence for 24 months prior to submitting the application.
In other words, only residents that meet the two-year residency rule may own the majority of a business. Non-residents can invest in the cannabis industry as long as they do not make up the majority shareholders in the business.
Employees do not have to meet the two-year residency requirement. Therefore medical marijuana facilities may hire anyone they choose.
It is currently unclear if cannabis businesses will be eligible to apply for Economic Development Company (EDC) benefits. EDC status would likely require a certain percentage of employees to be residents of the USVI.