Premier Andrew Fahie has struck a tone of optimism about having the BVI’s long-delayed cannabis legislation — which passed through the House of Assembly (HOA) months ago — being able to receive the governor’s assent.
During his recent budget address, the Premier said: “We were ahead of the game when we passed that legislation in this Honourable House. But we may have been delayed, but with God’s help we will not be denied.”
The BVI’s immediate past governor, Augustus Jaspert, declined to offer assent to the act last year, citing concerns about the absence of a marijuana licensing body. Thereafter, Jaspert sent the bill to the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
This was a feat that the Premier later described as unprecedented in the BVI’s political history.
At the time he complained that the governor should have objected to the bill before it was passed in the House, adding that much work had been done to put the legislation together and pass it through the HOA.
“The Virgin Islands people can benefit immensely if they can participate in this industry,” Premier Fahie said of the legislation.
He continued: “Your government is working with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) to address the various issues that are holding back assent to the legislation for the Virgin Islands to establish our medical marijuana industry.”
Legal and regulated marijuana industries, the Premier noted, have already been proven to have provided economic benefits and stimulation to several jurisdictions.
The Premier also stated that the global medical marijuana industry is projected to grow from its current value of $9.2 billion to $57 billion by 2027.
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