(VIRGIN ISLANDS NEWS ONLINE) – After years of the Territory toying with the idea, Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has announced plans to begin establishing a medicinal marijuana industry in 2020.
“Medicinal marijuana in the Caribbean is projected to be worth $2 billion, and in Latin America, the market is estimated to be worth $14 billion. BVI is moving to tap into this industry and develop to generate millions of dollars in revenue,” Hon Fahie said during the Second Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth House of Assembly on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
He said in the New Year, “We will continue the infrastructural recovery of agricultural stations and take significant steps towards establishing the medical marijuana industry.”
Benefits to VI
The Premier said the new niche would bring several benefits to the Virgin Islands.
“While focusing on green development, the potential medium to long-term economic impact from many planned policy changes and initiatives in the medical field such as medicinal marijuana and medical schools, infrastructural renewal and development, diversification within the tourism, financial and business services would only serve to further stimulate the economy.”
He explained that there would be an expected boost in revenue to Government, increased private sector activities, including increased employment opportunities, increased disposable income to individuals, and increased savings and investment levels in the economy.
“With the presence of the above positive, economic indicators, growth and expansion of our economy is an easily predicted result,” he said.
The Premier said the recent ‘land swap’ with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College was to “facilitate the establishment of the medical marijuana industry.”
During his Speech from the Throne on November 14, 2019, His Excellency Governor Augustus J.U Jaspert said legislation was on the horizon for the production and sale of medicinal marijuana.