The government is planning to crack down on, and implement restrictions as it relates to the smoking of tobacco products in the British Virgin Islands.
Governor John Rankin
indicated in the House of Assembly this week that this will take the form of legislative amendments to the Tobacco Products Control Act.
“Government will seek to amend the Tobacco Products Control Act, 2006 (No 18 of 2006) to provide for restrictions on the use of electronic smoking devices and the creation of the new offences of prohibiting smoking in a public place, smoking by a person under 18 years of age, and smoking in a motor vehicle while a person under 18 years of age is present,” Governor Rankin said on Tuesday during is Throne Speech to outline government’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year.
This news follow reports from Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley that the government has made headway with the United Kingdom as it relates to developing a medical marijuana industry for the territory.
Following his trip to the UK last week, Dr Wheatley announced that he had “very good discussions” on medicinal cannabis; “particularly with respect to the licensing of medical practitioners in the Virgin Islands
to administer medicinal cannabis to patients”.
“We have found a way forward on this aspect of medicinal cannabis and we are proceeding to put the necessary regimes in place for approvals,” Dr Wheatley said at a recent press conference.
Based on indications from Dr Natalio Wheatley, the BVI may not need to rely on the Cannabis Licensing Act — the legislation that sets the framework for the establishment of a local medical marijuana industry — to get things started. The Act has been wrapped up in UK red tape for almost three years now.
“As you know, there was the Cannabis Licensing Act that was due for assent. We’ll have discussions as to whether that’s the way we want to go right now because we have legislation on our books that allows the Minister for Health to be able to create regulations that will essentially allow for cannabis to be legally administered in the BVI,” the Premier explained.