Dept. of Agriculture Commissioner Terrence Positive Nelson is back up for nomination to the VI Cannabis Advisory Board (VICAB).
Nelson may go before the Rules & Judiciary Committee on June 26, 2020 to try for a second time to join the cannabis board.
No official agenda has been released by the Rules & Judiciary Committee, but a document on the Legislature’s website points to the June 26 hearing date.
His renomination was revealed during the June 12 Committee of the Whole hearing on the Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act. Though, the date for his hearing had not been set at the time.
Positive’s nomination was held in committee during his first hearing in Oct. 2019. The Rules & Judiciary committee, led by Senator Janelle K. Sarauw, believed there was a “conflict of interest” with his nomination.
The alleged conflict was that, as a senator, Nelson was the sponsor of the VI Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act (MCPCA). His nomination to the VICAB, which the MCPCA created, would violate The Revised Organic Act Section 6(f).
No member of the legislature shall hold or be appointed to any office which has been created by the legislature, or the salary or emoluments of which have been increased, while he was a member, during the term for which he was elected, or during one year after the expiration of such term.The Revised Organic Act Section 6(f)
While the argument was made that Nelson would not benefit from his position on VICAB, the committee wanted further legal review on the matter. Nine months passed without any further hearings on his nomination.
Now that one year has passed since the medical cannabis law was signed, the Revised Organic Act 6(f) no longer applies. So Nelson’s nomination is free to move forward.
If confirmed, Positive will become the 6th member of the VI Cannabis Advisory Board. Three slots on the board remain vacant, with no pending nominations.
Other VICAB News
During DLCA Commissioner Richard Evangelista’s opening remarks for the Committee of the Whole cannabis hearing, he provided an update on the VI Cannabis Advisory Board meetings.
A list of the work currently being done by VICAB members was provided.
- Dr. Kean signed up for and is now certified for medicinal marijuana through Medicinal Marijuana 411, one of the leading authorities on medicinal certification.
- Mr. Tricoche is having ongoing discussions with Florida’s Director of Cannabis and other industry leaders on pitfalls and opportunities within the industry as rules and regulations are formed.
- Mr. Tricoche is collaborating with the Department of Personnel to create a Director of the Office of Cannabis position.
- Dr. Jett is a certified medicinal marijuana practitioner and is providing guidance on the process for certifying medical practitioners in the territory.
- Mr. Jones is collaborating with the Bureau of Information Technology to assist with the development of the OCR website.
- Mr. Tricoche is collaborating with the Commissioner of DLCA and Finance to appropriate funds earmarked for the OCR
He also provided a list of what the VICAB has been working on collectively
- Office space to house the Office of Cannabis Regulation
- Salary and job requirements for the Executive Director
- Funding for the Office of Cannabis Regulation
- Inter-island transport of Cannabis
- Need for a full board or ¾ majority board
- Discussion of a proposed deadline for rules and regulations to be