Last night at the AgFair Medical Cannabis Growers Forum, Senator Positive Nelson released new information about medical marijuana legalization in the US Virgin Islands. The original Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act (MCPCA) bill had not included these changes.
One of the new amendments affects entrepreneurs interested in starting a cannabis business in the St Thomas, St John, or St Croix.
Changes to Residency Requirements
VIBE HIGH previously reported that the residency requirement to own a medical marijuana business in the US Virgin Islands was 2 years. The recently announced amendment to the MCPCA changed that rule to 5 years.
In other words, now the majority owner of any cannabis-related business in the USVI must have lived in the islands for at least 5 years.
Grower License Caps
Senator Nelson also announced that the territory will issuing a limited number of licenses to grow operations during the grower’s forum. It is unclear if this is an amendment to the MCPCA or the first regulation from the Office of Cannabis Regulations (OCR).
During the next 2 years, each district–St Croix, St John, and St Thomas–is allowed to issue a maximum of:
Unlimited Level I Licenses – 100 plants each
10 Level II Licenses – 500 plants each
5 Level III Licenses – 1,000 plants each
Senator Nelson did not mention any limits to dispensary or manufacturing/processing licenses.
Additional Licensing Fees
The original MCPCA included the term “Approved Vendor’s License” without a definition of what that license covers. Senator Nelson clarified that all cannabis-related businesses are required to pay for the “Approved Vendor License” after the business’ initial license has been approved.
This adds $1,000 to all previously reported licensing fees.
More Changes to Come
As the OCR irons out the wrinkles for medical marijuana commercialization, the rules for cannabis entrepreneurs will continue to evolve. We expect additional amendments from the 33rd Legislature, so stay informed about how these changes affect the medical cannabis industry in the USVI with VIBE HIGH.