Virgin Islands Inches Nearer to Grownup-Use Hashish, Expungements


Hashish stays a scorching button concern with politically-driven fanfare within the U.S. territory of the Virgin Islands. Two bills had been launched within the Virgin Islands on Oct. 24: One that will legalize hashish for grownup use and one other that will expunge eligible instances of hashish convictions.

Invoice No. 21-0160 would legalize hashish for adults 21 and over, and Invoice No. 21-0137 would pave a solution to expunge eligible hashish convictions. After no less than two earlier makes an attempt, authorities officers proceed to push ahead a workable invoice.

Each payments had been sponsored by Sen. Janelle Sarauw, who has been engaged on hashish reform for a while. “It has been a really cumbersome course of to get these payments to the place they’re at present,” she wrote in a press launch, which she additionally posted on Facebook, referring to previous guarantees to get laws happening the islands.

“Though there have been many politically pushed false narratives about this hashish laws, I’m happy with the work accomplished to make sure that locals and minorities will not be locked out of the trade and have a chance to take part within the financial potential of the trade — from farming, to dispensaries, to incentives for boutique labs, and micro vitality suppliers,” Sarauw wrote.

“To disregard these classes can be silly,” Sarauw continued. “As a political scientist, however most significantly as an elected consultant of the folks, it’s my job to do the due diligence to guard the lots and the perfect curiosity of our residents by creating fairness in alternative.”

The 69-page legalization invoice covers nearly any provision that you just’d anticipate in a U.S. state invoice. Underneath the legalization invoice, an Workplace of Hashish Regulation (OCR) would concern enterprise licenses, oversee the trade, and set guidelines on promoting, packaging, and labeling. Edibles can be capped at 100 mg THC with 10 mg doses. Licensing charges can be imposed and a possible 50 cent per gram tax can be imposed on cultivators who promote hashish to different licensees. The invoice would come with a number of fairness elements.

Underneath the expungement invoice, folks with previous hashish convictions can petition the courts to clear convictions for violations of as much as two ounces of hashish.

On Aug. 10, the V.I. Hashish Advisory Board (VICAB) within the U.S. Virgin Islands unanimously authorised draft rules for the territory’s medical hashish program. On Aug. 12, the Workplace of Hashish Laws posted the draft publicly. Lengthy story quick, the timeline didn’t adhere very nicely. Gov. Bryan’s administration was blamed by Sen. Sarauw for delaying the rollout of medical hashish earlier on the islands.

Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. proposed an earlier model of the Cannabis Use Act in 2019, and launched one other model in 2020. Just lately, Bryan’s re-election marketing campaign fired again and slammed Sen. Sarauw for failing to satisfy guarantees to legalize hashish, which she stated in 2021. However it was the stress placed on by the governor that will have contributed to Sen. Sarauw’s latest actions to launch the brand new items of laws.

Sen. Sarauw herself and fellow candidate Sen. Kurt Vialet, who’s towards hashish legalization, are each operating to de-seat Gov. Bryan and Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach within the upcoming election on November 8. 

The Virgin Islands is a hotbed for Caribbean music like reggae, so it’s secure to say lots of vacationers go there to smoke. However regardless of an energetic medical hashish program, tourists are warned that public consumption of hashish remains to be forbidden within the Virgin Islands. Even with a medical hashish card, you cannot smoke weed in any public house.

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