Agriculture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley has said the Cannabis Licensing Act that recently passed in the House of Assembly will result in a boost of medical tourism in the British Virgin Islands when the legislation becomes law.
The minister said professional athletes from the National Football League (NFL) in the United States have already shown great interest in travelling to the territory to benefit from medicinal marijuana products the BVI will soon offer under the new Act.
“There’s great potential for medical tourism. The group of investors we’re dealing with; some of them are former NFL players … and many of the players use cannabis to be able to recover,” Dr Wheatley stated.
“Many of these persons want to come to the BVI to be able to recover from a gruelling season and be able to use cannabis, and you know we already have lots of other advantages for persons who want to travel here — the climate [and] a quiet place you can spend with your family, so there’s great potential.”
Cannabis no longer a banned drug for NFL
Dr Wheatley, who is also the minister responsible for sports, further said these NFL athletes will be able to utilise the medicinal cannabis products from the BVI without being penalised from their governing sporting body.
“Because they (the NFL) have recognised that it’s legal to have cannabis (in some US states) and they recognise that many of their players use cannabis, they’ve removed cannabis from their drug testing programme. So, NFL players are completely able to use cannabis without any sanction from the National Football Association,” he explained.
According to Premier Andrew Fahie, the BVI medicinal cannabis industry is projected to generate a revenue stream of at least $30 million annually.
The Premier further said he believes the figures can be achieved once the BVI sets up the industry in a timely manner and with measures that ensure accountability.
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