Premier Andrew Fahie has bemoaned Governor Augustus Jaspert’s lack of assent to the Cannabis Licensing Act, saying the law would enable the BVI to stimulate its economy and prevent the territory from being a burden to UK taxpayers.
“I don’t want the Virgin Islands to be a burden to UK taxpayers, it’s not fair to the taxpayers. So when we come up with legislation that are innovative like the Cannabis [Licensing Bill] — we could already have hundreds of young people working now. We had a three-month plan of how we were going to work it. But more than seven months, we are here fighting for it to be assented to,” Fahie said during the Budget Debates on December 14.
Premier Fahie said he doesn’t understand why Governor Jaspert is holding back the BVI’s economy when the Cannabis legislation complies with international laws and regulations.
” Whether you agree with the industry or not — it isn’t being given a chance … So what is it? Why hold our economy back? I don’t want the people of the UK to know that we have to lean on them for loans or loan guarantees. I don’t want them to know that if we don’t pick up our end of the bargain that they as taxpayers have to be saddled with it. I don’t want that for my country,” Premier Fahie said.
Why should BVI contact Foreign Office?
“I really and truly received a letter saying who we must contact in the UK to start this negotiation with a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and different things for marijuana [Cannabis Bill]. But I found that strange because I didn’t call anybody to come get involved. So if they are involved, they should send to us a letter saying what concerns they have so we can respond to that. I don’t know what we are going to write and tell them … ’cause I don’t know what their concerns are,” Fahie argued.
After much public speculation, Governor Jaspert last week gave an update on the Cannabis Licensing Bill which his office has been reviewing for months now.
He said the bill has been passed to UK officials, adding that the BVI must work with UK officials to establish the legislation because it is now out of his (the Governor’s) control.
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