U.S. Virgin Islands
Though the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized possession for small amounts of marijuana and implemented a robust medical cannabis program, it is still considered an illicit substance if one is not a registered in the territory’s program. Possession of 1 oz or less is a civil offense that may result in a $200 fine. Possession of more than 1 oz may result in imprisonment and steep fines. First-time offenders may face 1 year of imprisonment and a fine of $5,000, while subsequent offenses may result in 2 years of imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
Cultivation is a far more serious offense. Provided the amount is under 50 lbs, first-time offenders face a maximum period of incarceration of 5 years and a maximum fine of $15,000, while subsequent offenders may be incarcerated for up to 10 years and fined as much as $30,000. Cultivation of 50-200 lbs of marijuana results in a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000. Cultivation of 201-1,000 lbs results in a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $50,000. Cultivation of more than 1,000 lbs results in a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $200,000.
The Virgin Islands Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act was signed into law on January 19, 2019. It allows residents of the islands to possess up to 4 oz of cannabis and to cultivate up to 12 plants. The law also restricts dispensaries from selling more than 3 oz of cannabis to a patient within a single 14-day period.
The territory allows for a broad range of healthcare professionals to recommend cannabis so long as they are licensed to practice in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in good standing, and have a bona-fide practitioner-patient relationship. Healthcare professionals allowed to recommend cannabis include MDs, DOs, NDs, PAs, NPs, homeopaths, or chiropractors. The Virgin Islands Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act recognizes that cannabis may alleviate, and may therefore be recommended, for any condition that either requires hospice care or causes cachexia, nausea, seizures, or severe muscle spasms. It also specifically mentions that the following debilitating conditions may be treated with cannabis:
• Alzheimer’s disease
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Crohn’s disease
• Hepatitis C
• Huntington’s disease
• Multiple sclerosis
• Parkinson’s disease
• PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Spinal cord injury
• Traumatic brain injury
There are no state-run dispensaries open as of this time, unfortunately. Once they are open, they will be allowed to provide cannabis to patients from other jurisdictions, provided they have proof of enrollment. As stated in the Virgin Islands Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act, non-residents may possess 3 oz.