BVI News

BVI losing revenue waiting on governor to assent cannabis law

Premier Andrew Fahie

Premier Andrew Fahie said the BVI is losing significant revenue as it waits for Governor Augustus Jaspert to give assent to the Cannabis Licensing Act, which was passed in the House Of Assembly in July of this year.

The Cannabis Licensing Act sets the framework for the establishment of a medical marijuana industry in the BVI.

In an interview with 284 Media, Premier Fahie said the government was expecting to earn millions this year as many people would have found jobs in the medical cannabis industry.

“I could only say that if it was passed already we would have already been able to move towards having the three months crop – because the planting of it takes three months and we would have already moved towards over one hundred jobs and we would have already moved towards at least a couple millions of dollars in our economy,” Premier Fahie said.

He continued: “We are gonna wait till it is assented to. It has pushed us a little behind with that industry with the revenue that we had already projected for this year.”

The BVI constitution doesn’t demand that the governor give assent to any law within a specified timeframe.

In his interview on Friday, Premier Fahie said this is an area in the constitution that the government is seeking to change.

“It is one of the areas in our constitutional review that we have to ensure that we strengthen in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands,” Premier Fahie said.

He said once the bill is assented, a commission will be set up to regulate the industry and set guidelines for locals who want to participate.

Partnership with big investor

Premier Fahie also said the government is working with an investor who is expected to help the BVI tap into the export market. However he refused to name the investor.

“I wouldn’t release the investor’s name right now, but when the time comes we’ll let them know. All I can say is that the investor will be known, it’s not a secret, it’s a reputable person that has come and helped us move in this direction with the industry, ” Premier Fahie said.

Earlier in September, BVI News sought to determine whether the Governor had any specific problems with the bill that could cause any delay in its assent. The Governor’s office responded: “He’s currently considering it [and] has yet to grant assent.”

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66 Comments

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  1. Heckler says:

    who exactly is this big investor? qtna

    Like 38
    Dislike 1
  2. Please says:

    Cannabis abnd Gambling Laws should have done more in-depth study on its effect it could have on our society. We don’t want to come like st.martin or usvi festered with crime with these elements in their midst.

    We simply want to see greater Government investment in Tourism and Fisheries. Fix the infrastructure instead of putting a bandaid on it. we have one of the best tourist product in the world and fishing waters we simply have to stop giving them away.

    Gambling and Cannabis bills should have gone to referendum.

    Like 57
    Dislike 4
    • Opressed says:

      It is biased to put something to a referendum that disproportionately affects a minority.

      In a majority rabbit nation the issues of the carrot will never be heard through referendum. The views of the minority will only be heard when the rabbit in charge makes moves on behalf of the carrots.

      Like 4
      Dislike 3
  3. Comments says:

    Why the rush for the governor to sigh this ?and who is this big investor hmmmm i smell a rat here

    Like 59
    Dislike 1
  4. 2020 says:

    Oh Foy, please STH up! Is this your way of throwing the bad spotlight off of you?

    You need to go …

    Where is the opening plan? A Cannabis Licensing Act, passed and yet, the plan concerning tourism, a well established industry, and the reopening of the country cannot be seen!

    Like 55
    Dislike 3
    • To 2020 says:

      Give me a break. You hate Fahie so much that you are condoning wrong actions by a Governor. This is a crying shame.

      Like 9
      Dislike 65
      • @2020 says:

        No one hates FOY, THE PEOPLE IS JUST TIRED OF THE NONSENSE. FOY NEEDS TO START LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE AND BE MORE TRANSPARENT AND FORTH COMING. THE PEOPLES VOTE IS IMPORTANT TO FOY but their input is not?

        Like 19
        Dislike 1
    • Dear Premier says:

      WE THE PEOPLE YOUR EMPLOYER, HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW AND DEMAND TO KNOW WHO THE INVESTOR/INVESTORS ARE. THE GOVERNOR SHOULD NOT ASSENT ON THIS CANNABIS LAW UNTIL THE PEOPLE KNOWS WHO THE INVESTOR/INVESTORS ARE. WE THE PEOPLE IS DEMANDING FULL TRANSPARENCY. WE THE PEOPLE IS PEEPING THE GOVERNMENT CARDS.

      Like 57
      Dislike 9
  5. L Hodge says:

    First, we do not know who is this big investor. Also, California has one of the largest medical marijuana growth industry in the world. Premier Fahie needs to understand that there is a difference between growing medical marijuana and growing regular marijuana.

    Like 36
    Dislike 7
    • LOL says:

      PIPEDREAM get real Fahie, you are selling the country down the drain. As somebody said there s a difference between scientifically grown Medical Marijuana and Weed. And Gambling to increase the crime rate, again to ruin our best product the Tourism industry.

      Like 19
  6. Bvi islander but scared says:

    Let’s distract everyone from the real issues!!! Gambling that brings with it addiction!!! Is this best for BV Islanders or is it best for you and your friends. Is this guy for real. Let me throw some dirt at the British again. If it wasn’t for the British where would you be right now.

    Like 40
    Dislike 3
  7. Andy please says:

    Dear Andy Foy, you don’t realize but eventually you will that the Governor is hoping your foolish venture will fade from your l*****d brain. This venture of yours is a money loser before it’s started. Sooo, the Governor is actually saving the Territory money. We all know that you hope this foolishness comes to fruition so that it can be your personal p***u b**k however this just like the other ideas your government has come up with have all been losing ventures. Please find your way back under the rock from which you came. Actually no. Please keep it up as it will only hasten the arrival of the Royal Navy and a new interim government.

    Like 49
    Dislike 1
  8. Hmm says:

    You all busy worrying about cannabis and our children can’t physically attend school? when done you all claim the children are our future generation? Speaks volumes to me.

    Like 51
    Dislike 1
  9. FACTS says:

    This marijuana legislation is good for the economy and the governor needs to stop his childlike behavior and assent to the bill in the best interest of the people.

    Like 6
    Dislike 54
    • @Facts says:

      Nope, this is only going to benefit a few people. I hope the Governor DOES NOT SIGN THE BILL.

      Like 32
      • Blacka says:

        @Facts sign it is a joke he need to tear it up and burn it in front of all them jokers. And tell them to stop the BS and get the country fixed.
        That not going to help a small man or poor man here. just going to solidify them pensions.

        Like 16
        • Pass it says:

          Being able to self declare as a therapeutic user and legally possess 50 grams is a big win.

          Big boost to the tourism package & well being of residents.

          Like 4
          Dislike 6
      • Agree says:

        Right now I am having a difficult time believing what the premier says. The bill hasn’t assent but yet we already have big investors, so was this done only to accommodate a chosen few? Transparency is needed.

        Like 11
  10. Keep it going says:

    This move by the Government is essential because we need more employment and a boost to our economy. I pray the Governor will put away his h****d for the Premier and assent to the bill.

    Like 2
    Dislike 43
    • Expat says:

      Boosting the economy immediately is putting in a reopening plan that makes sense. This will bring an IMMEDIATE RELIEF not waiting 3 months for a product to grow then needs to be processed and sold.
      Immediate jobs will be created for the local work pool, when will this government wise up?

  11. Anegada says:

    The Premier Andrew Fahie is losing credibility
    The BVI is being hurt by his administration delays with a PLAN to reopen our economy. Tourism will be significantly impacted if he doesn’t get his act together.

    No locals cares about cannabis licensing act. This is a money grab to help the few. The majority will not see a single benefit

    Like 52
    Dislike 10
  12. Enough says:

    Everything the government does or says is a problem to a few of you all of a sudden. Premier do not take on these few evil people. Also governor go pass the bill.

    Like 5
    Dislike 43
  13. Citizen says:

    Finally you are at a stage to sell cannabis for living! Pity

    Like 11
  14. Devon says:

    Wow….. let’s blame everything on the Governor…. let’s blame everything on the UK… let’s blame everything on Covid..
    No let’s keep blaming it all on the previous NDP Government.
    The BVI is in serious trouble.
    Glad to be leaving this sinking ship after 18 years !

    Like 18
    Dislike 3
  15. Yawn says:

    The Governor is willfully d******g this because of a personal agenda with the government. Medical marijuana is legal in the UK so it shouldn’t be a difficult decision as it is in line with the UK. If they were worried about abuse, the law itself protects against that as only licenced persons will be allowed to grow so I see no need for hesitation. The law itself is mild as it didn’t go far enough in my opinion. The World is slowly shifting to decriminalize and legalize marijuana use while we are sitting on the back of the bus watching and waiting to jump on the band wagon.

    Like 4
    Dislike 23
    • Jane says:

      @Yawn – medical marijuana is not legal in the UK. I am afraid the UK is a backward country and they have not yet been able to have a grown up discussion (probably because the politicians are being lobbied by big-pharma, big-alcohol and tobacco.

  16. Boo says:

    No amount of smoke screens, Facebook live, fancy speeches, press releases, and chatter can distract from this failure of governance and leadership

    Like 43
    Dislike 1
  17. No Mr. Governor says:

    A couple of weeks they were picking fights with the Governor and throwing him up under the bus. They were calling one of the BEST GOVERNOR THAT THE BVI HAS HAD BY FAR ALL KIND OF RACIST. NOW THEY WANT TO DOUBLE BACK AND WANT HIM TO SIGN ASSENT ON CANNABIS LAW? THE GOVERNOR SHOULD NOT SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL THE VOTING PUBLIC/THE PEOPLE KNOWS WHO THE MYSTERIOUS INVESTOR IS.

    Like 41
    Dislike 2
  18. East End Man says:

    Premier don’t mind the noise. There are more of us with you and your Government than those against.

    Like 2
    Dislike 51
  19. What Revenue? says:

    You won’t make sh*t off your punk-a** weed! No research, no experience, not a soul committed to real agriculture. You can’t even feed yourselves! You only want to line your pockets on the backs of your people. That’s not Leadership, that’s Plantation Ownership.Is that the real vision you have for us? Is that our future, our Past? Go take a seat you selfish, selfish ba****d!

    Like 16
    Dislike 3
  20. East end man the the rest clowns says:

    First of all y’all need to know what is in this cannabis law
    It would crucify the local or should I say anyone that smokes
    Anyone with sense
    Because common sense ain’t to common anymore

    Like 10
  21. E. Leonard says:

    In my understanding and under Section 79 of the VI Constitution a bill passed by the HOA does not become law until assented to by the Governor. Further, the Governor can either assent to a bill or refuse it or hold it in reserve by using reserve powers. The VI is a representative democracy and bills passed by the duly elected HOA should not just die on the wine. A fix is needed.

    The constitution needs to be amended to provide more balance in processing bills. For example, the Governor should be given a maximum amount time to act on bills, i.e., assent, refuse or reserve. If the action is refuse or reserve, the HOA should have the ability to override the Governor’s action, e.g., a significant majority vote in HOA. Incidentally, if my research is accurate, the last time the UK monarchy didn’t assent to a bill was in 1708, i.e., Scottish Militia Bill.

    Moreover, the Medical Marijuana Bill was introduced in the HOA, discussed, debated and voted on; vote was in favour. Clearly, some sector of the population may dislike the ethics, moral, merit………etc of the bill. Nonetheless, the bill was duly passéd by a majority in the HOA and should be allowed to see the light of day. Perhaps the issue should have been put to a referendum. However, a majority of the electorate can vent their approval or disagreement at the ballot box.

    Like 3
    Dislike 7
    • Dude says:

      Dude I am really starting to dislike your partisanship.

      This bill is not good for the BVI, we are in no position to support it, or the gambling bill. It will just increase the social issues that we already have in the BVI.

      Besides, if you are keeping up with the news, the US growers are already having enough issues with the medicinal weed that they can sell and Kamala Harris has already started the talk about legalizing both the medicinal and non-medicinal weed, so you check where that wind is blowing.

      Give me a break man, where are we really going with this?

      Not enough research was done to ascertain what the long term ramifications of both a gambling and a Marijuana bill would be on a small populations like ours.

      all that aside, i am soooo sick to death and tired of all of the fighting with the governor, lack of transparency, dictator like behaviour, speaking without first considering your words of this current administration.

      this is not my premier, i didnt vote for him or them and i knew why then and they just went on to confirm it.

      they lied their way to power and having obtained it illegitimately because of their lying, now can’t do the job of effective and efficient leadership and man does it show!

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
      • @Dude says:

        “Dude I am really starting to dislike your partisanship..” Open mouth and tory jump out. In reading your comment, you have no standing in accusing anyone of being partisan. .Go siddung!

      • Diaspora 3-D/360 says:

        E. Leonard can more than effectively defend his position. Nonetheless, in reading his comment, it is clear that he was just stating the facts. Facts do matter. Clearly, you are bias against the sitting government, have so stated and willing to use your poison pen against anyone that you think may support any of its action(s). Your own words condemn you. A Virgin Islands saying says: If de wind don’t blow yuh don’t see fowl behind.

        Rarely, if ever, every bill passed by the HOA will garner 100% support of BVI residents. Nonetheless, the BVI is a representative democracy.snd members of the HOA are voted in by a plurality of voters. A majority of members put in power by the people vote to pass legislation and that action should be honored whether you agree or not. Elections have consequences and to the victor goes the spoils.

        “ this is not my premier, i didnt vote for him or them and i knew why then and they just went on to confirm it.” I’m surprised and disappointed at this statement. If you are really a true Virgin Islander, Premier A. Fahie, Premier of the VI, is your Premier whether you vote for the VIP or not( the BVI does not vote directly for Premier). Furthermore, you have to abide by the laws enacted by the VIP.

        Like 1
        Dislike 2
      • E. Leonard says:

        @ Dude, I’m often reluctant to respond to anyone who may not be courageous enough to list his/her true name, for I like to know if I’m debating a machine, a stick or a live person. In my view, anyone that is afraid to stand behind his or her true identity is not deserving of a response. Nonetheless, generally, there are exceptions to every rule.

        Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and I respect yours. We don’t have to agree with each other’s opinion but we should agree to tolerate differences, especially in politics. Politics is the oldest profession, for to be human is to be political. Aristotle define being human as zoe politika(political animals). We (politicians, political animals)interact cooperatively to create laws and construct the institutions on which social order and justice depends. If humans are political animals, then life without politics is not practical. The animating force in politics is conflict and if people don’t disagree about issues then there would be no need for politics.

        Moreover, any organizational leader that bases decision making on keeping 100% of customers happy would be leading a dying organization. With any decision that Premier Fahie or any other progressive leader makes there will be a percentage of customers that disagree yet that should not stop them from making decisions. Too often, we apply the “Halo Effect” to organization’s decision making. For example, if an organization makes an unpopular decision, we false assume that every decision that was or is going to be made is bad. Similarly, if an organization makes a popular decision, we also falsely assume that every decision made or will be made will be great. False. Every decision should be based on its own merit.

        Further, I stand by my opinion on the issue as stated above. Others can challenge me on the facts. No sweat. Constructive debate is healthy in a democracy and is welcome. I welcome and nah fraid tarl te debate.

  22. political says:

    FAHIE YOU CUT UOUR OWN A** THE GOVERNOR DOES NOT HAVE TOU TO STUDY YPU SEE WHEN YOU TALK AND SHOW OFF TOO NUCH YOU SEE WHAT DOES HAPPWN TO YOU INSTEAS OF THE GOVERNOR HELPING YOU HE IS GOING TO HELP YOU ALRIGHT CLEAN AND SHEER SWEEP

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  23. Meds & crime says:

    What changes come about through the revenue they make will pale in comparison to people having access to this healing plant legally, and for persons especially young adults to stop being persecuted for their use of this wholly medical plant regardless of which ever cannabinoid is most present.

    This is a big positive STEP and freedom from the lies. Freedom from persecution for use of this medical herb is worth more than any money they make.

    Money being the root of all evil let us examine this topic for what it can really mean for us as a people minus the money.

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  24. Oh please says:

    Losing out big where? When most of the other Caribbean islands have a way more superior product than that here. Oh please go si dung and come up with a better more feasible plan to earn revenue and create jobs.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  25. Before says:

    Before this BILL IS SIGNED, WE THE PEOPLE WANT ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY. OR BETTER YET, HAVE THE PEOPLE VOTE ON THIS BILL FIRST BEFORE THE GOVERNOR MAKE THE DECISION TO SIGN THE BILL. ITS EITHER YES OR NO BY THE PEOPLE.

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  26. PT9 says:

    The Premier is taking down the BVI the UK needs to take over for a while before its to late

    Like 18
    Dislike 2
  27. funny says:

    The Premier wants independence badly, wants to stand on hs own, all good things.

    But he needs an outside investor to grow weed?

    He said in a live conference yesterday about getting everyone certified by American colleges, then in the next breath he says we can do this by ourselves, we can stand alone.

    He needs to employ a script writer and a PR team because he is flaying arounf in the wind.

    Like 13
  28. Diaspora 3-D/360 says:

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Medical marijuana is supposedly available in the UK by prescription. Further, the UK is also supposedly the largest producer and exporter of medical marijuana. Why is Governor Jaspert not assenting to the medical marijuana bill? Is it out of revenge, aversion to marijuana use, personal moral and ethical belief, some UK elites indifference to cannabis use. ……..etc? In any event, the will of the majority of people through the duly elected government should be thwarted by the personal preferences of a few with positional power.

    The medical marijuana bill was rushed and would have benefited from more research. Preferably, it should have been put to referendum to let the people decide up or down. There is strong competition for medical marijuana and for the BVI to compete effectively it has to find a way to differentiate itself from its competitors. Does the BVI have a comparative advantage in medical marijuana production?

    Like 4
    Dislike 5
  29. What says:

    What revenue? What investor? Pipers dream.

    Like 11
  30. Honestly, I think says:

    The Premier is being pressured by the Investors to pressure the Governor to sign. I might be wrong but, I feel that the deal is already set in ink. Mr. Governor, please don’t let them pressure you into signing.FOR THE PEOPLES SAKE, PLEASE DON’T SIGN. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THIS IS GOING TO WORK OUT FOR THE BVI.

    Like 13
  31. Clown says:

    Medical stuff is grown in indoor facilities, to get top tier stuff you can grow outdoors with unsure light and weather conditions also bugs and pests. This man l***g to the people I hope someone catches on

  32. WTF says:

    WHAT ABOUT THE REVENUE THE BVI HAS LOST WAITING FOR TOURISM TO OPEN?!

    Like 15
  33. Untouchable says:

    And you are intrigued by the presence of personal bodyguard protection for our dear leader in the world of gambling and marijuana syndicates

  34. WE THE PEOPLE says:

    WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW IF THERE IS A DISPENSARY, IF THERE IS A MEDICAL DOCTOR WHO IS GOING TO WRITE PRESCRIPTIONS FOR PATIENTS BECAUSE ONE CANNOT JUST WALK INTO A DISPENSARY AND BUY PRODUCTS. IF A PERSON WANT TO OPEN THEIR OWN DISPENSARY WOULD THEY BE APPROVED OR ISSUED A LICENSE TO DO SO. ARE THERE GOING TO BE A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD ISSUED FOR REGULAR CUSTOMERS WHO MAY WANT TO PURCHASE PRODUCTS FROM THE DISPENSARY.

  35. Reply says:

    I am curious as to how is the BVI losing revenue awaiting the governor assent of the canabis law. Specially, how can the government lose money on medicinal marijuana when they never derived money from that source before?

    Something is amidst here. Exactly who is losing money, and under what circumstance they are?

    Like 10
  36. ReX FeRaL says:

    ANDREW NEEDS TO STOP MANUFACTURING THE TRUTH. Marijuana. Hmm.

  37. mendomon says:

    This is complete..BS..even if the BVI went into the CBD industry.. do you honestly think there is the where with all to make a go of it when this new miracle money making ploy has already been exploited by so many already.. This is almost as funny as the actual greenhouse boondoggle that somehow appeared in the BVI to begin with.
    What a joke.
    too little too late.
    There has got to be a better way.

  38. OMG says:

    Can it get anymore ridiculous people? Really!

  39. Lol says:

    And the circus continue

  40. None ayo says:

    None ayo read the bill not one of ayo see that the premier wanting to fine $100,000 and/ or 10 years and $200,000 and /or 15 years in jail for ganja planting without definite determination of what u have to have done for such a charge….NONE AYO DOES READ AND THE PREMIER TAKING FULL ADVANTAGE OF US ALL!!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
    • right says:

      Three years minimum & ten years minimum and that is for possession of more than one gram, without self declaring as a therapetuic user for legal possession of 50 grams.

      I blame this not on the premier while he is to be suspected but on all the members of cabinet.

      I want this bill passed but this alone is reason to take it back to the drawing board. It needs to be amended.

      It is an injustice & highly prejudiced for 3 and 10 years minimum on illegal cannabis possession when illegal gun possession is 5 years minimum!

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