US Virgin Islands Adult-Use Cannabis Business Opportunities

The US Virgin Islands Will Offer Adult-Use Cannabis

US Virgin Islands Approves Adult-Use Regulations

The Virgin Islands Cannabis Advisory Board (abbreviated VICAB) approved regulations outlining requirements for its new adult-use cannabis program. In addition to guidelines for medical cannabis patients, there are also extensive details for those hoping to obtain operating licenses. as well as an estimated timeline for when application windows should begin opening.


Available USVI Cannabis License Types

The regulations outline requirements for Six (6) 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.

Top Virgin Islands Cannabis Consulting Services

Cannabis Business Guidance in the US Virgin Islands

The 6 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 may cultivate no more than 1,000 flowering plants at a time and no more than 3,000 immature plants at a time.

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

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

6) Micro-Cultivation Permits

Micro-Cultivation permits will only be issued to persons who possess a valid farmer’s license or are in the process of applying for a farmer’s license with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs. Permittees may cultivate no more than fifty (50) flowering cannabis plants and no more than two hundred (200) Immature Cannabis Plants at a single time.


St Thomas Harbor US Virgin Islands


Estimated Timeline & Plan Requirements for License Applicants

Virgin Islands Cannabis Application Window

The Virgin Islands Cannabis Advisory Board (VICAB) released an estimated timeline on when to expect license application windows. The USVI application windows are set for:

  • November 4, 2024: Micro-Cultivator Applications open (rolling applications)
  • November 12, 2024: Laboratory Testing Applications open
  • November 20, 2024: Research and Development Applications open
  • December 20, 2024: Dispensary Applications open (45-day window)
  • January 7, 2025: Manufacturing Applications open  (45-day window)
  • May 2, 2025: Cultivation Applications open  (45-day window)

These applications will require extensive planning as they will be merit-based. So while these dates seem far off, it's important to begin building your required plans and securing your resources to remain prepared.


Required Business Plans for All Cannabis License Types

While application requirements differ slightly between cultivation, manufacturing, and retail license types, most applicants will need to provide:

  • Fingerprint and background check information
  • Business formation documentation and structure
  • Proof of Residency
  • Source of Funds
  • Possession of the proposed licensed premises
  • Detailed diagram of the proposed licensed premises
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • Business Plan
  • Operations Plan
  • Suitability of the Facility and Premises
  • Employee Training Plan
  • Security and Recordkeeping Plan
  • Product Safety and Labeling Plan
  • Environmental Plan
  • Emergency Plan
  • Social Equity Plan

Cannabis Market Conditions in the US Virgin Islands

Cannabis 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 Cannabis 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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