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As reported by MELISSA SCHILLER for the Cannabis Business Times
The legislation allows adults 21 and older to use cannabis, but the bill’s sponsor estimates it may take up to five years for the law to be implemented.
Lawmakers approved the legislation, called the Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act, last month alongside a bill to automatically expunge the records of individuals with past cannabis-related convictions.
The 104-page Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act legalizes cannabis use for adults 21 and older, as well as for sacramental use by members of established Rastafari nonprofit organizations, the news outlet reported. Group members are also permitted to grow cannabis on private property for personal use, according to The Virgin Islands Daily News.
Applicants for adult-use cannabis business licenses must have lived in the Virgin Islands for at least 10 of the last 15 years, the news outlet reported, which lawmakers hope will encourage collaboration between local residents and outside investors.
The bill levies an 18% sales tax on cannabis, with the revenue generated flowing to the Department of Human Services, as well as social services tackling homelessness, substance abuse, and counseling, according to The Virgin Islands Daily News. Registered medical cannabis patients will be exempt from the tax.