The US Virgin Islands has authorized marijuana for recreational and religious use for anyone over the age of 21, joining several Caribbean countries that have relaxed their cannabis laws.
The measure has been in the works for years, and officials from the US Virgin Islands have traveled to Colorado to meet with farmers, growers, police officers and others before Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed the bill into law. of the law on Wednesday.
“We are bringing opportunities to them, but they must also do their part to take advantage of them,” Bryan said, referring to the cultivation, production and sale of marijuana in the United States.
Bryan said his government would erase the records of general cannabis possession convictions if they meet the requirements, noting that about 300 people in an area of 105,000 have been convicted over the past 20 years.
“My goal is to ensure that many of us adversely affected by the criminalization of cannabis have every opportunity to participate in this new legal cannabis industry,” he said, adding that the government will offer business and job training.
In 2019, the US Virgin Islands authorized marijuana for medical use.
The new law allows those 21 years of age or older to possess up to 56 grams (2 oz) of marijuana, 14 grams (0.5 oz) of concentrate, and 28 grams (1 oz) of products such as recreational foods, religious and other forms of marijuana.
Patients using medical marijuana may bring up to 113 grams (4 oz) of cannabis, 28 grams (1 oz) of concentrate and 56 grams (2 oz) of product.
Under the new measure, cultivation permits would be granted to those who use marijuana for religious purposes.
Dispensaries will incur a tax of at least 18% on all sales, although medical marijuana patients are exempt, according to the newly passed bill.