US Virgin Islands Adult-Use Cannabis Business Opportunities

The US Virgin Islands Expands To Offer Adult-Use Cannabis

USVI Draft Regulations Have Been Released For New Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses

On September 8, 2023 the US Virgin Islands (abbreviated USVI) released draft regulations outlining requirements for its new adult-use cannabis program. In addition to new guidelines for medical cannabis patients, there are also extensive details for those hoping to obtain operating licenses. While there’s no exact timeline for when these regulations will be finalized, public comment will be accepted until October 10, 2023.

Available USVI Cannabis License Types

The regulations outline requirements for five (5) cannabis business license types. Each license application will require extensive business and operational plans that will be graded on a point system. Applicants with the highest scores will be awarded licenses. The licenses include:

Merit-Based Application and Licensing Process

The regulations also state that this will be a merit-based licensing process “even if there is one Applicant for the available license.” Applicants will need air-tight plans and expertise in the industry whether there’s competition or not. 

If you’re planning to apply for a license in the US Virgin Islands, start preparing now with our team of cannabis experts.


Start Your Cannabis Business Planning Now For A License Win

With this first look at the USVI draft regulations, it’s clear to see that obtaining a license in the tropics will be no easy feat – if you do it alone. You’ll want to begin preparing your business development strategy, securing a proposed property, and gathering local support to stay ahead of competition. You’ll also need a team of experts on your side to maximize your application score. 

Contact Canna Advisors to get started on your application.

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Cannabis Business Guidance in the US Virgin Islands

The 5 Proposed Adult-Use License Types in the USVI

Each cannabis business model will come with its associated risks and rewards. Below we break down each of the cannabis licenses available and what they can do for prospective Virgin Island entrepreneurs:

1) Cannabis Cultivator License

Cultivation licensees will be permitted to cultivate, cure, process, internally test, store, package, and label cannabis products. They may also store, sell, purchase, receive, transfer, and transport cannabis products to and from other cannabis businesses and testing facilities on the same island.

A cannabis cultivation licensee may cultivate no more than 1,000 flowering plants at a time and no more than 3,000 immature plants at a time. Applicants will need to prepare a business plan, staffing plan, cultivation plan, and an environmental impact plan, among other documents, to apply for this license type.

2) Cannabis Manufacturer License

A manufacturing licensee will be permitted to process, internally test, package and label, store, sell, purchase, and transport and transfer cannabis products to and from other licensees on the same island.

3) Cannabis Dispensary (Retail License 

Dispensary (retail) licensees will be permitted to store, sell, purchase, transfer, and transport cannabis products to and from other cannabis cultivation licensees, manufacturing licensees, micro-cultivation permittees and testing facilities on the same island. Dispensaries will also have the ability to deliver cannabis products to qualified patients, caregivers, or the parent or legal guardian of qualified patients under the age of 21.

4) Cannabis Testing Facility License

Testing facility licensees will be authorized to acquire, test, and transport cannabis products obtained from licensed cannabis businesses, the Office of Cannabis Regulations (OCR), qualified patients, and designated caregivers.

5) Cannabis Research and Development License

Research and Development licensees will be permitted to do a variety of activities aside from cultivating, purchasing, selling, and transferring cannabis, cannabis products, seeds and immature plants to and from other cannabis businesses.

They will also be permitted to:

  1. Conduct experiments and testing on all forms of cannabis products, including edible cannabis products, topicals and oils.
  2. Conduct research on the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis
  3. Conduct genomic or agricultural research 
  4. Develop new strains and products

St Thomas Harbor US Virgin Islands

Cannabis Market Conditions in the US Virgin Islands

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Licenses Available for High Scoring Applicants

Though medical cannabis has been legal in the USVI since January 2019, they have yet to open any cannabis facilities to supply medical or adult-use consumers with products. Aside from the already challenging logistics involved with being a cluster of islands separated by international waters, regulators are entering new territory by setting up this process.

Limited Number of Licenses Available per Category and Island

Confirming our suspicions of a competitive process, the Office of Cannabis Regulations (OCR) will be limiting the number of licenses they award on each island. Additionally, the OCR will only award licenses to those with a complete and accurate application even if there are less applicants than licenses available.

To date, here are the cannabis licenses to be offer per island:

  • St.John – up to 5 Cultivation licenses and 3 Dispensary Licenses
  • St.Croix – up to 15 Cultivation licenses and 7 Dispensary Licenses
  • St.Thomas – up to 15 Cultivation licenses and up to 7 Dispensary licenses

Start Your USVI Cannabis Business License Application

Start planning for your US Virgin Islands cannabis business with experts in the industry.


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