BVI News

Our financial services industry lost biggest deal in its history

Dr Natalio Wheatley.

Governor Augustus Jaspert’s lack of assent to the Cannabis Licensing Bill has caused the BVI to lose what has been described as its largest-ever deal in the history of its financial services industry.

Agriculture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley made that announcement during a recent sitting of the House Of Assembly.

“Our financial services lost the biggest deal in their history because this law was not assented to. One of our greatest financial services companies here, lost the biggest deal in their history because this law was not assented to,” Dr Wheatley said.

While Wheatley didn’t reveal the name of the local company or details of the proposed deal, he is not the first elected leader who’s said the BVI has been losing potential investors due to the lack of assent to the Cannabis Bill.

Literal hungry in BVI

Wheatley also said approval of the Cannabis Bill could ease the pressures of his constituents — some of whom are experiencing literal hunger due to unemployment.

“I have persons texting me just a little while ago, telling me they’re hungry. Asking if I can do something for them. I had to call a restaurant to say ‘let this person come and pick up some food and I’ll pay you tomorrow’. This is the type of thing that is happening. You’re hurting these persons from being able to get jobs. The government would be able to make lots of tax revenue,” Wheatley argued.

The Cannabis Licensing Act sets the framework for the establishment of a medical marijuana industry in the BVI. It was approved by the House of Assembly in July of this year but hasn’t received assent from the Governor.

Earlier this month, Governor Jaspert released a statement explaining that approval of the Cannabis Licensing Bill is now out of his control as he has passed it on to the UK Foreign Office.

Governor Jaspert also said BVI lawmakers now have to work with UK officials to establish the law.

Governor explains lack of assent Cannabis Licensing Act


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  1. Everything for a reason says:

    The biggest deal is not always the best deal. This gives you more time to do more research on about the people you plan to make the deal with.

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    • Truth says:

      If people are ‘literally hungry’ then why not grow food instead of hedging everything on marijuana. Can how can you be making deals for a substance that is illegal. You should ensure that the relevant laws are in place to govern before you start making deals. I bet they wanted to do it that way to benefit there cronies in private.

      Like 74
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    • Indeed says:

      Indeed. Word on the street is that the Government plan to get in bed with a company that doesn’t have good references in this industry. I will say no more.

      Like 35
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      • history repeated says:

        NDP – Airways …whatever
        VIP – ganga
        ….just when you thought 2020 could not get worse, pop goes the weezle

        Like 37
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        • Really says:

          You forgot a lot of other deals – VIP Greenhouses which supposedly cost over a Million a year for licensing fees, VIP – additional BiWater cost: ignoring the agreement already in place which will cost BVI taxpayers probably 20 Million in breach of contract. Why will BVI Financial Services lose money on the Ganga Deal, very fishy indeed.

      • @seriously says:

        Again? Really?

  2. Shocked! says:

    It’s best to keep your mouth closed and let people think you’re really intelligent and sensible than to open it up and remove all doubt. Does this make sense to anybody with sense? Firstly, they keep making up these deals and have not presented one name yet publicly. What kind of marijuana can little Paraquita bay could produce that would have been the biggest deal for financial services? This man can’t even get some tomatoes grown up there but he is talking about biggest deal.
    What does the marijuana bill have to do with people being hungry? Is marijuana the only idea that you dumbbells really have to move the economy along? This is totally unbelievable! But then again it’s not. One one of those elected representatives have a clue what they are doing especially this one who continues to be the Premier’s mouth piece. He has not done a stroke of work with the portfolios under him. Not ah stroke!

    Like 61
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    • @Shocked says:

      Such a damn twisted liar you are…anyone with eyes could see and know every Minister of Government has done lots of work…you like the American Media which has become a mafia in itself…not because you say it make it facts… go siddung

      Like 2
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      • Truth says:

        Seems like you are a VIP crony who lacks the ability to be objective. The government’s performance has been dismal. Kye has been doing noticiable work but the other ministers need to be sacked! And the back bench lacks experience and knowledge.

        Like 28
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        • @Truth says:

          Kye is the only one from the Administration that I am going to vote for next election. Yes, at least you can see what Kye is doing and the work that he is putting in.

          Like 8
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          • @..@Truth says:

            Kye my backside!! Inexperience is showing full force. Roads are a mess, water and sewerage matters not either. The ports are run down, ISP are extorting us for subpar performance all the while certain factions within the community are ‘flossing’ ill-gotten gains without repute.

            So, all the dead weight first timers whom are sitting on the sidelines while the ‘beloved leader’ makes all the moves – will get their just deserve when election rolls around. What happening with our Fisheries btw…? Jokey government with clownfish parading up and down without a clue as what to do.

            Like 15
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Probably Don Corleone and Family , New York.

    • Thoughtful Sailor says:

      Shouldn’t be a surprise! He wasn’t particularly good at showing up in class on time, when he taught at the college. Why should this be different?

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  3. Resident says:

    Ok, when will the rebuilding of the other section of the ESHS start? When will there be improvements in the education system for our future( children) and teachers? When will minor issues be fixed in schools and major ones like mold? When?
    What’s the big issue with marijuana? Were you depending on the money to improve education in the BVI. How long, Lord? I hope not much longer.

    Like 33
    • 3 year wait says:

      Too true! 3 years on from Irma and he school situation in the BVI is still a tragedy. We should have been highly embarrassed that the high school was still down after a year, to say nothing of the situation in which the neighbourhood schools find themselves.
      If not for the kind and generous assistance of benefactors, I’d bet good money that many more of our schools would still be wrecks.

      Like 18
    • Deh Watcha says:

      I always believed that there had to be private individuals interested in rebuilding the high school but did not want to give the money directly to the government at the time.

  4. Pandora's Box says:

    As if the year couldn’t get worse, I wake up to read this and just shake my head. How this individual even got elected, never mind promoted to Deputy Premier, is a terrifying omen to the future of our BVI people and hopes of a strong and decent plan to recover what’s left of our beaten and shredded economy.

    But noooooo, we have to listen to this endless bull$hit about a grand plan for our country’s prosperity that is devoid of vision, common sense, basic understanding of any semblance of practicality, and a disgrace to the BVI, an insult to her people’s intelligence, and an embarrassment to the future of our youth!!!!

    Anyway, enough said, blessings to all for 2021 and please let it be a better one that 2020. May the good Lord guide our leaders to help us all find our feet and move our country forwards!

    Like 44
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  5. Trevor says:

    You sir, have just lost any remaining credibility you may have had. What an outrageous false comment to make.
    Everyone knows you did not provide the governor with all the required information, so fault lies with you.
    But you want to convince us problem is with England.
    The biggest financial loss is caused by incompetent ministers, of which you have just confirmed yourself to be part of.

    Like 41
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  6. Nice christian society says:

    So Marijuana could eat now? This lay-away government is saying that if they don’t get marijuana going that we would go hungry in the BVI? And where are the church leaders in all of this? Marijuana and gambling taking over the country and they are completely silent. Maybe they got their stimulus checks already. The hypocrisy in the BVI is mind blowing. Carry on Christian society! Carry on!

    Like 33
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  7. duh says:

    If the Govt hadn’t taken the proper steps before ramming the bill through the house this wouldn’t have happened. Plus as has already been noted this bill has to go to the UK because they are the ones liable if the BVI breaks International law in Narcotics. Stop BS the people. The Govt was at fault for not getting its i’s dotted and t’s crossed. You shouldn’t have made promises to people before the bill was passed.

    Like 28
  8. Resident says:

    If the HoA did their work in committee instead of passing ill thought out bills in one day, because the HoA is incapable of scrutiny this might not have happened.

    In any event what is the unique selling point to differentiate the BVI from all the other places producing and distributing medicinal cannabis? Our flat land; plentiful water, easy communications; advanced scientific laboratories with a highly skilled workforce for testing and development? I don’t think smoking a lot of weed locally will be enough on its own.

    This has all the hallmarks of the green houses at the college; another successful venture.

    Like 25
  9. really says:

    I used to like this education minister but he seems to prefer the ganja now, the UK is stopping this not the governor as it already been explained why its taking so long. The BVI local government would have to be responsible for ALL NARCOTICS this means COCAINE and there in lies the problem, I know that and I am not a minister.

    He does not know anything about the FSC either by his statement.

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  10. Fly says:

    Didn’t he read the previous article? Seems to be a full explanation as to why it’s not been assented.
    More needless finger pointing IMO. NDP to blame…

    Like 8
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  11. awa says:

    First, you said that medical marijuana will bring in about 30 million a year now you are saying BVI to lose what has been described as its largest-ever deal in the history of its financial services industry. Why don’t you guys stop trying to fool the people of the BVI?

    Like 29
  12. Same Ole Sunday says:

    You know what the deal probably was? Some short sighted attempt at filling some ppl pockets while the foreign guarantors (sorry local weed man, ya’ll playing yalself) are given free land to grow weed up paraquita which, like every project started up there (The college, the greenhouse, the biwater scam..) will be half assed, barely done and with enough liabities in it to allow somebody else to walk off with all the money for a half finish job, probably lining the pockets of a few politicians in the process.

    Like 24
  13. Observer1 says:

    Question: Is cannabis legal in the UK?

    • BuzzBvi says:

      Recreational use – illegal. Medical use – legal in very limited circumstances. The INCB lists the UK as the largest exporter of legal cannabis in the world. Same sex marriage is legal in the UK. So if you are looking to align the laws = should look at that also. In the UK, its territories and dependencies, same-sex marriage is not performed or recognized in Anguilla, the Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

      Like 2
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  14. ?? says:

    Not to be negative but am I supposed to believe that with so many other places in the world the BVI is going to be the hub for growing marijuana? Come on Sowande man, COME ON!!!

    Like 24
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  15. Green Cup says:

    The common enemy tactic is outdated. People of the BVI are more informed than decades ago. People are seeing thru this bullshyte. There are far more sensible and feasible investments than a Cannabis deal (of which I am highly suspicious of). The constant personal attacks on the governor by certain media outlets and some members of government only shows blatant desperation and lack of class of this administration and its cronies. Surely, a one term government..

    Like 19
  16. to the Government Ministers says:

    NOW the Government may understand what a non-belonger goes through who applies for a trade licence. Applications for trade licences are sitting in Trade and the Premier’s Office for YEARS…no word…Please now that you know exactly how it feels…that business people waiting to invest will NOT wait 6 months, a year or 2 years or 3 years or 5 years for a trade licence to be approved and will take their business elsewhere…DO SOMETHING TO STREAM LINE the trade licence process…don’t keep a man hanging on to hope. You too are killing the BVI economy by doing this and may have lost an even BIGGER financial deal because of your inaction…who knows if one of those delayed trade licence application could have burgeoned into an Amazon, Alibaba or Ebay!!!!

    Like 10
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  17. embarrassment says:

    Can somebody, anybody just shut the f**l up? Who is calling him to plant weed for a living? come on man. A person cannot miss what they never had. Every time he opens his mouth he makes me shame.
    gosh man

    Like 18
  18. Ausar says:

    What’s so sad about this, is that those two young men are actually Belongers!

    Both of their father’s are natives of Cane Garden Bay!

    Such a sad state of affairs!!!!

  19. WEW says:

    BS’ always someone else’s fault. Blame it on Jaspert

  20. Green Thumb says:

    Look at all the money the greenhouses bringing in. “THEY” never learn.

    Like 12
  21. Why says:

    That is total BS. We can’t produce that kind of revenue from the small amount of ganga that can be grown here … and the market is saturated already.


    And it’s the UK, not the Governor that has to give approval first.

    Like 14
  22. Well my tail! says:

    So let me get this straight – His pie in sky marijuana bill would have done more for the BVI financial services than the BVI Business Companies Act has done. Just when you thought you have seen it all with these imbeciles. It’s best that all of you go caroling again because you serve no other purpose.

    Like 15
  23. 1st district says:

    No money for dem pockets on this ONE!!

  24. Snoppy says:


  25. Seriously says:

    I want the voters of the BVI to read this in its entirety and look at what’s going on in this Territory. Look in the mirror and tell me, really, is this what you want for the BVI?

    Like 17
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  26. Check It Out says:

    You want to tell me that the smallest country in the world with a very rugged terrain and no water is going to lead the world in ganga production and production of canabis products bringing in millions of dollars. Check again. don’t use the Governor as no scapegoat.

    Like 13
  27. Leveller says:

    Most of the biggest deals for the financial services industry are big in value but only a fraction of that finds its way to the BVI.

    Question whether the deal lost was related to the BVI production of cannabis or a BVI company proposed to be used for cannabis investment elsewhere (which can’t do it due to proceeds of criminal conduct without a tweak to that act to include a Spanish bullfighter defence – which would be much more straightforward to get done).

    Also, one of the biggest deals for one financial services entity, is not the same as the biggest deal for the financial services industry.

    Finally, has the learned gentleman heard of the IBC Act, which was the biggest deal for the financial services industry.

    Like 4
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  28. Lodger says:

    One word. RIDICULOUS!

  29. Hey says:

    Obviously this Minister has not a clue about Financial Services. He is sounding really foolish and should have kept his mouth shut. Maybe there’s more here than meets the eye. There are so many other priority areas and he is worrying about ganja??!! Furthermore this marijuana bill should have been brought to the people to decide how we want to go.

  30. Kudos Mr. Wheatley says:

    You are doing a good job dont mind this ignorant crowd.

    The bill was out to be read in draft form long before, and the agenda announced from the previous year.

    Whoever wants to stay ignorant to the needs of certain persons in the community will do so.

    We have some of the highest concentration of churches in the world, they skip genesis but heed the contrived lies from the oppressors about the devil weed. When it comes to ganja people are still under the influence of years old lies & propaganda.

    Major props to you & the rest of the party to come in and knock this out one time. Stop the oppression.

    This man has been doing good in public for ages while holding no office.

    Like 1
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    • Facts! says:

      @kudos Dr. Wheatley- Are you speaking about the same person that we are speaking about? Can’t be. Sowande ran his mouth when he was out of office about everything most of which he knew nothing about. Now he is in office he cannot do one thing. Talkers are most times not doers. And I am still waiting my colllege grades from your class Dr. Wheatley. Our class almost didn’t graduate because you don’t mark assignments and turn them in to the admin.

  31. OUTRAGE says:

    Pure Bull quirt… All of it.. Wheatly and the Bill.

  32. Liston says:

    So ganja is going to save the BVI. Is this what we want for our country???? How about supporting industries that are already here – tourism?????

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