British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Oct 31, 2020

Imprisonment up to 15 years and hefty fines listed in Cannabis Licensing Bill

Imprisonment up to 15 years and hefty fines listed in Cannabis Licensing Bill

Some stiff penalties have been proposed in government’s Cannabis Licensing Bill that will be introduced to the House of Assembly shortly.

Among other things, the bill provides for the cultivation, processing, importation, exportation, distribution and sale of medical cannabis in the BVI and proposes penalties of up to $200,000 and/or 15 years in prison for those you don’t operate within the parameters of the said legislation.

For example, the proposed Bill requires persons to have a license to participate in any of the above activities and further stipulates that, unless otherwise authorised, persons are not permitted to have medical cannabis in their possession, in public places, in any premises used to provide licensed child care or in any motor vehicle, among several other listed places.

It also stipulates that a person must not come in possession of medicinal cannabis if he/she is not a therapeutic user or caregiver, a patient under a medical document (prescription), or is otherwise authorised to possess the drug.


Fines and imprisonment

Persons are prohibited from operating any vehicle while under the influence of medical cannabis.

A person who contravenes any of the preceding commits an offence and is liable on conviction in the Magistrate’s Court to, “a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years but no less than three years, or to both such fine and imprisonment”.

On conviction at the High Court, offenders are subject to a fine “not exceeding of $200,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years but no less than ten years, or to both such fine and imprisonment”.

Government will be hosting a virtual public meeting on the Bill at 7:30 pm on Thursday, June 25.

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