British Virgin Islands Moves Forward On Medical Use

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In a move that will undoubtedly see cannabis medical tourism go to new heights in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands’ House of Assembly passed a bill to legalize the production and use of cannabis in early July.

The Cannabis Licensing Act, 2020 provides a framework for medical marijuana use but adults can also possess up to one gram without filling out any paperwork. With a self-declaration form, adults can possess up to 50 grams. More than this will require a prescription from a medical practitioner.

In a move designed to please the tourist industry, visitors can possess cannabis as “therapeutic users” if they self-register.

Cultivation
The government will dedicate 50 acres of land for the cultivation of cannabis and is clearly gearing this into an economic development project for farmers. Cultivation will of course also be licensed by the government.

Beyond the considerable domestic trade this is likely to create, the government is also looking at export possibilities.

Questions About Tourism – On and Off Land
The Caribbean may well be the place where some of the more interesting rules about cannabis use are defined in the coming decades. Because these are international waters, the use of cannabis on the high seas remains an issue that is under the jurisdiction of international law. Yet after December, when the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to change the classification of THC, this too will change.

Medical cannabis yachting tours may well become one of the hot growth industries of the next decade. But in the meantime, the “land-lubber” local tourist industry will inevitably experience a shot in the arm that other jurisdictions, certainly in the midst of a COVID-19 meltdown, may well emulate. Especially if cannabis itself is found to be in any way a preventative if not curative.

What Goes Down In The Caribbean May Also Happen In The Mediterranean
One of the reasons that this is such a bell-weather decision right now is that the other tourist hotspot with beaches that tends to follow similar trends, is located in and around Europe. The yachting and boating economies of French and Spanish coast communities have been devastated by the pandemic. 

A similar kind of move across the Pond, in other words, might be in the cards. 

In Spain, political parties have increasingly advocated linking cannabis reform with economic development. This clear signal in one of the hottest tourist spots in the world might be just the ticket to move the conversation in similar waters elsewhere.

For the latest updates on how the global cannabis industry is evolving, be sure to book your tickets to the next International Cannabis Business Conference when the conferences return to Europe.

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