U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill into law this week, forming the legal foundation for the territory’s adult-use and medical cannabis industry.
The Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act covers the production, distribution and use of cannabis.
The new law also includes cannabis for sacramental use, The Virgin Islands Daily News reported.
In late December, a majority of lawmakers in the U.S. territory voted to send The Virgin Islands Cannabis Act to Bryan’s desk.
The government said the law will eventually provide economic opportunities for Virgin Islanders and create additional revenue.
However, it could be some time before recreational business opportunities are available in the territory, as regulations to support adult-use businesses still need to be drafted and approved, according to The Daily News.
The law, Act 8680, requires those regulations to be in place within a certain period of time.
The Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR) will have exclusive authority to create rules and regulations related to the cultivation, manufacture, sale, provision, testing, licensing and use of cannabis.
The U.S Virgin Islands passed a medical cannabis law four years ago, but it was never fully implemented as the regulations were not completed.
The OCR had approved the proposed rules and regulations for the MMJ industry last year, but those rules still need to be ratified after having gone through a public review in September.
In addition to The Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act, Gov. Bryan issued a proclamation allowing anyone convicted of marijuana possession to apply for a pardon through the Virgin Islands Department of Justice.