BVI News

Gov’t to give 100 locals land to cultivate medical marijuana

Premier Fahie

By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff

Approximately 100 Virgin Islanders will each receive a half-acre plot of land from government for the cultivation and production of their medicinal marijuana initiative in Paraquita Bay, Tortola.

This was revealed by Premier Andrew Fahie during a recent airing of the Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton Cline radio programme where he said government is aiming to have the marijuana programme started by May this year.

“We’re looking at Paraquita Bay for 50 acres of land, to empower 100 Virgin Islanders, 100 Belongers and we are doing it by districts. The Territorial members will also be able to include some youngsters, so at least the minimum of 10 persons per district for each of the nine districts,” Premier Fahie stated.

He added: “We want to be able to give the 100 of them — each of them a half-acre of land and this is what we are working towards so that they now can become the captains of their own ship and destiny financially.”

Incentives to attract investors

The Premier further said government is currently working on incentives for potential investors to have at least one of them set up shop here in the BVI.

He said: “We have other areas that we are looking at in terms of how do we get more major companies to bring their established companies — or one of them — in here to function. We have some of them we are already speaking to bring in their innovation, and that is going to open up the BVI tremendously,” he added.

Initiative to create more job opportunities for locals

During the Premier’s recently-held First District Annual Report and New Years Party, he asked persons who are against the marijuana initiative to be mindful of all the positive opportunities the new venture will bring to the territory.

“I would understand people who object to the medicinal marijuana, but while we are here fighting to see if we should move forward, others are getting ahead of us. But that wouldn’t happen under this government,” he said.

Premier Fahie, who is also the Minister of Finance, further said the initiative will help pave the path to have additional career opportunities available for BVIslanders.

These include opportunities for product development, processing, and marketing and research which, according to Fahie, are all currently being explored.

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  1. Diaspora says:

    Government is giddy and seeing green and rushing into the cannabis growing business, particularly the medical marijuana business (CBD). Government needs to slow its roll and properly research the business before jumping headlong into it. Geez sum bred meh son, this government moves bud speed ahead with everything, trying to please everyone at once.

    Growing marijuana is more than just planting some seeds and providing light and water. Marijuana is a popular and complex plant that consist of a blend of many chemicals (480+) that work together and against each other to attain the desired effect. There are male/female plants, various strains, levels of THC, CBD……etc content……..etc. Further, chemical balances vary widely from plant to plants. Thus, the strain grown by two farmers can have different effect on the same person. Production chemical content consistency is critical and important.

    Typically, the THC and CBD content averages 3%. However, to compete, the chemical content must be much higher. Some entities have gotten the chemical content up to 37%. This entails much cross breeding……..etc. In addition to farmers, botanists, geneticists……..etc are needed. The business is much more than planting seeds, harvesting and selling. A May 2020 rollout way too ambitious a timeline. The government revenue projection is also too optimistic.

    By the way, other than the 100 farmers will other people be allow to grow medical marijuana, and hemp(hemp is cannabis with little or no THC)? Will residents be allowed a few ounces of recreational marijuana (Cannabis with THC) for personal use? Antigua, Jamaica and other regional countries do it. The BVI was one of the last countries to remove band on dread locks; will it also be the last on small quantities of recreational pot for personal use?

    Moreover, 100 farmers growing medical marijuana (CBD) on 0.5 acre plots. Who is setting the strain, chemical content(CBD), and quality of marijuana that is grown? Which agency will provide oversight of the process? Since it will be a controlled drug, how will government control the growth, harvesting, distribution and sale of marijuana? Will individual farmers have to hire their own botanists, geneticists…….etc? Who will farmers sell their product to? What is the anticipated use of medical marijuana? Will there be a clearing house for the distribution and sale of marijuana? Would establishing a cooperative be a better approach to growing medical marijuana?

    Like 36
    Dislike 1
    • RealPol says:

      @Diaspora, real talk. Interesting take on the medical marijuana initiative. I have no expertise or experience with medical marijuana as a user or otherwise. However, it seems as if the growing and distribution is more complex than lead to believe. It is not like growing potato or pumpkin. The lesson for government is to properly staff initiatives before getting the populace excited.

      Like 16
    • nervous island says:

      Thank you Diaspora. Everything you say will fall on death ears! There is no easy way to magically produce Dollars from medical marijuana without massive capital investment. What happened to the five million Dollar greenhouses that could have produced at least a few honest food plants.Easy money is usually a sign of a lawless country.

      Like 12
      • correction says:

        The term should be “deaf ears”. Please do not reference “death ears to anyone” it may make you seem uneducated.

        BTW good point on the main idea of your comment.

    • for True says:

      Our Govt continues to ahow a lack of wisdom. These knee jerk reactions and outbursts without doing any real research are an embarrassment. We look to our leaders for leadership to make sound, thoughtful proposals that will benefit us socially and economically for years to come. If only the Premiere had as much wisdom as he does energy our future would look brighter for sure.

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
  2. Wow says:

    Stupid stupid stupid!

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  3. No nonsense says:

    The ESHS students need to move out old CTL building is more important than that. Fix the fxxxing roads with proper drainage and higher sea walls, is more important than that. Look at your medical facility and staff, NHI,air ambulance. The darm fire dept to out race cars on the strip is more important. My hand tired and on and on!! Bull shyte talk!!

    Like 18
  4. Local says:

    The guy doing something good for our local is problem we perfect in this thing from school days.

    Like 1
    Dislike 12
  5. Oh says:

    I don’t want no land just legalize the think and give me my farmers license and trade under it. Don’t forget to decriminalise it and drop charges for everyone y’all locked up for a dime bag

    Like 12
  6. Popeye says:

    Wait. Say what? The gov gonna give out the good seed to 100 peeps. Than they gonna grow the super weed? And who gonna test the super weed? Is the gov gonna hire 1000 peeps to test the super weed? We all be supper high. Who gonna pack and ship the supper weed? Who gets the left over super weed? Who gets the new seeds from the super weeds? Where can I buys the super weed?

    • @Pop Eye says:

      @Pop Eye, good question about testing the were. Nonetheless, one cannot get high on medical marijuana (CBD), for it is none psychoactive. Recreational pot gets one high (THC) among other things.

  7. tru says:

    why not give it to a group of farmers who already grow and bring to market or better still to the rasta who already grow the weed and know what they are doing.

  8. Lennon says:

    Imagine if our government would hire 100 farmers to grow fresh vegetables. Imagine if our government would give away 100 suitable acres for farmers to grow fresh fruit.

    Who is the beneficiary of new pot industry? Who are the customers? Is medical marijuana really prescribed by doctors at this level in the Bvi were it demands 100 farmers to keep up with the demand? Who is going to protect and guard the 100 plots of potent pot? How is the industry going to be managed and regulated? Who is going to be distributing the approved product?

    Imagine if our government had a real plan.

    Like 23
    • dude says:

      The customer is in the USA & Europe.
      Cucumbers & eggplants sales can’t fix road and build buildings
      Economic commerce is based on supply & demand, that’s how money is made. There is a demand that BVI can supply for next to no cost. Simple economics. Sunlight free, rain water, soil.
      Now it’s amazing how much people think they know about marijuana these days. Lots of misinformed info floating around. I think the initiative is good but I don’t think that even the government understands it so they can’t explain it properly. My suggestion is work with the Rastafarians on this. And people here already use it regularly so I don’t get the fake outrage.

      • @Dude says:

        @Dude,growing medical marijuana is much more seeds, free air and free water and soil. Medical marijuana is a control substance so there has to be strict quality control, security…….etc. Marijuana from the same batch of seeds may not produce the same effect. The demand for medical marijuana has to meet a certain quality, ie, CBD chemical content. To meet the strict quality requirements, will require a team of people,ie, farmers, lab techs, botanists, chemical engineers, pharmacists…..etc. we cannot over simply the production of medical marijuana.

  9. Big Mistake says:

    Be careful what you ask for.

    Tis now law and order going out through the door!

    • State Side, Dispensary Owner says:

      The Government should have send some reps to the United States to see and learn how to properly run and set up a medical marijuana dispensary. I feel that the BVI is not ready to handle something like this just yet.

  10. Hmm says:

    How is this initiative being controlled from this being sold on the streets?

  11. Anonymous says:

    It have persons seeking Government land for years, to live and no one can respond, but your giving land to plant Marijuana.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  12. hhhhmmmm says:

    It have persons seeking Government land for years, to live and no one can respond, but your giving land to plant Marijuana.

  13. HMMMM says:

    No matter how you twist and turn this thing, it makes absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever! Seems like he is trying to take the title from Fraser with the round-about stop lights, for DUMBEST Government project in BVI history!

  14. ??? says:

    The BVI doesn’t grow regular crops for export and there’s an obvious reason for that. What makes growing marijuana any different? The economies of scale are just too out of whack! Okay so you give the locals land to plant weed, then what? Who determines the cost? Who will be buying it? Why would they buy from BVI when there are so many other places growing on a large scale and who would be doing it for far cheaper? Something major is missing from this equation and it may just be the common sense part of it.

  15. Diaspora says:

    Here is a news flash. The growing marijuana initiative is highly oversimplified. As RealPol noted above, growing medical marijuana is not like growing potato or pumpkin; potato and pumpkin are not control substances that are used to treat medical ailments. Potato and pumpkin planted, not a whole lot of care and feeding is needed; when they are matured/riped, they are picked and consumed. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, need more care and feeding.For one thing, it needs much more quality control, physical security, protection….etc.

    There are nuff ??? about medical marijuana, ie, who is it going to sold to, is it going to sold as a leafy product, processed into oil, processed into resins…..etc; how is the growing going to be controlled, how is government going to collect revenue and how much (estimate)……etc.

  16. hmmmm says:

    this Premier for real??? must be a prank,, he taking unconventional a lil too serious now …

  17. Eagle & Buffalo says:

    I took a long break from “blogging” and was kicking back enjoying the commentaries of others. However, this medical marijuana issue has pulled me back into the fray. The inexperienced VIP government has adopted an interesting unconventional governing style. It is in overdrive trying to please any and everyone. It is chasing every “shiny object.” The premature rollout of the medical marijuana programme is an example of a shiny object.

    True, medical marijuana has the potential for treating some medical ailments but the possibilities are still being researched. Additionally, medical marijuana is being viewed by many other locales as a cash cow. No doubt the BVI needs to diversify its economy but adding more economic sectors must be well researched and planned. Producing medical marijuana as noted by other bloggers is a much more complex process than growing potatoes or pumpkins. Other bloggers have laid the pros and cons about the programme so I will not repeat them here.

    Nonetheless, IMO, the brakes need to be put on the programme and conduct further research on the prospects and possibilities of the initiative and only go for it if it is a win-win. However, at the current rate, we are heading for a possible major let down and disappointment. Producing medical marijuana is not a “no brainer” decision. We need to drive the issue, not letting the issue drive us. Let’s do it right the first time and be cautious of those shiny objects.

    [Let’s lead like eagles, not careen off the cliff like buffaloes.]

  18. ... says:

    This is a needed change from locking people up for a natural god created plant.

    Look how many experts come along online trying to talk back the initiative. The premier is a brave man. kudos for doing whats right for the people.

    Meanwhile people who never saw this plant in their life believe one side of everything they are told.

  19. Forward ever Backward never says:

    We have to import practically everything we eat, and the government is giving land to 100 farmers to plant marijuana. Wouldn’t this had been a better initiative if the land were given to the farmers to plant food? The green house which cost millions of dollars went belly up. Now another doom to fail project. Smfh.

  20. Youngsters + weed = bad says:

    Love Fahie’s comments on Youngsters being captains for their own ships by getting to grow weed. If it like the motor-bikes they drive that ship right into the ditch and kill the self.
    Also, what up with Paraquita Bay? Last time I look that place getting filled back up with junk boats. Maybe that where these boys get to store they weed!?

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