Without the signature of Governor Augustus Jaspert, medical cannabis legislation can’t be formally adopted.
This week, the government approved a bill to remove penalties for possession of up to 28 grams of cannabis, while looking to create revenue from cannabis.
The nation’s leaders have agreed to draw up adult-use legislation and set a date to vote on it.
“While we are a locally-based industry, we are globally focused,” said Minister Floyd Green.
An analysis presents a case for adult-use, among other reforms, as the country’s leaders consider how to shape legislation.
With an eye toward exports, the BVI government aims to create a $30 million industry for domestically cultivated cannabis. But high fines and long sentences stay in place.
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Arrests are down, illicit crops are up, and everyone awaits further legislation.
A draft bill to legalize cannabis for adult use was released last week for public input.
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At a meeting, regulators hear worries that big international companies will dominate.
A similar bill failed in December amid debate over whether cannabis tax revenue should go toward saving the pension fund, or toward boosting other sectors, such as infrastructure and tourism.
With cannabis developments slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, bureaucrats shift some regulations to boost the industry, such as export and online sales for patients.
But post COVID-19 pandemic, the nation still aims for growth in the industry.
Parliamentary meetings, regulatory rule setting, and investment summits are being postponed, slowing what had been steady progress in the region.
The government has also opened the door—part way—to banking licensed growers.
The National Commission on Marijuana, split on adult use legalization, puts the question to the public.
Lawmakers approved legislation to establish a Medicinal Cannabis Authority that would create licenses for everything from cultivation to consumption spaces.