The U.S. Virgin Islands this week legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older. This means the United States-owned territory joins several nations in the conservative Caribbean in finally relaxing their antiquated Cannabis laws.
The move has been several years in the making reports The Virgin Islands Consortium. U.S. Virgin Islands officials traveled to Colorado to meet with cultivators, manufacturers, law enforcement and others. They were there to learn about the industry before Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed the bill Wednesday.
“We are bringing the opportunities to you, but you must also do your part to seize these opportunities,” Bryan said. Under the nascent industry, the cultivation, manufacture and sale of marijuana is legally allowed in the U.S. territory.
Social Equity, Expungement, Pardons
The Act improves upon Governor Bryan’s original proposal with the inclusion of a robust social equity program and expansion of the expungement opportunities for marijuana-related arrests and convictions.
During a signing ceremony, Bryan also issued a proclamation that allows persons convicted of simple possession of marijuana to apply for a pardon.
“From the beginning of the Bryan-Roach Administration, we have worked towards the legalization of the adult use of cannabis,” Governor Bryan said. “This Act incorporates key aspects of my original proposal, such as one streamlined regulatory scheme for both medicinal and adult use.”