VI Cannabis Program Rules and Regulations Completed

Impending Heavy Rainfall Predicted and More Extreme Heat

US VIRGIN ISLANDS – The weekly press briefing from Government House on St. Croix began with an advisory by Government House Communications Director Richard Motta Jr. about impending weather and ended with a significant announcement about the adoption of rules and regulations governing the Virgin Islands Cannabis Program.

VITEMA Director Daryl Jaschen and Ernesto Morales from the National Weather Service in Puerto Rico joined Motta for the briefing on Tuesday. Morales said that for the first time this year there is an extreme heat warning – especially for the island of St. Croix — with heat indices above 108 degrees. The good news and bad news, Morales said, are that the heat will break with the rain, which is expected to begin Wednesday and continue through Thursday night. Between two to four inches are predicted, with a chance that the rain will move north. Afterwards, the extremely hot weather is expected to return.

Jaschen urged residents to sign up for VITEMA alerts to stay informed, and said sandbags will not be issued because accumulation isn’t expected to be significant.

“Please watch your environment where you are,” Jaschen said. “Keep yourself safe at all times.”

As this week is both EMS and Public Works week, Motta extended gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the Bryan-Roach Administration, for the hardworking public servants who serve the Virgin Islands community in both agencies.   

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated men and women serving as Emergency Medical Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians, and Paramedics within the Virgin Islands Fire and Emergency Medical Service (VIFEMS),” Motta said. “Your commitment, skill, and compassion are the cornerstones of our community’s health and safety. Thank you for your unwavering service and your vital role in saving lives daily. Happy EMS Week!”

And to the dedicated men and women at the Virgin Islands Department of Public Works, Motta acknowledged the challenges they face. “Your tireless efforts and commitment to maintaining and overhauling our infrastructure are crucial to the well-being and prosperity of our community,” he said. “The monumental task of revitalizing our roads, bridges, and public spaces is no small feat, especially with the number of challenges we face. Your hard work ensures that our islands are not only beautiful and safe but also resilient and ready for the future. Thank you for your exceptional service and unwavering dedication. Happy Public Works Week!

In other Public Works news, Motta said Governor Bryan was in attendance Tuesday morning at the Christiansted bypass—now officially named the Aloy “Wente” Nielsen bypass after longtime DPW engineer Aloy “Wente” Nielsen.

Additionally, Motta said the Waste Management Authority and its contractor Marcos Trucking are nearing completion of the sewer line installation in Christiansted. The Department of Public Works, through Virgin Islands Paving Inc. (VIP), has started preparing for road paving in downtown Christiansted.

Last week, VI Paving mobilized its equipment, and on Monday, May 13, began clearing and grubbing Market Street.  

Thanks to funding from the Department of Interior, Market Street, Hill Street, East Street, Queen Street, and Prince Street will undergo milling, paving, and drainage improvements over the next few weeks, Motta said. Additional roads will be repaired through the Transportation Trust Fund. King Street, which is part of a Federal Highway project is currently being designed and will also be repaired.Weather permitting, this project is expected to be completed by August 2024.

Governor Bryan recently signed off on the rules and regulations governing the Virgin Islands Cannabis Program. The VI Cannabis program is a hybrid of medicinal cannabis and adult use programs. It provides special protections and benefits to medicinal cannabis users. It is also the document that will govern the rollout of cannabis licenses and third-party vendor certifications. Also, it outlines the duties and responsibilities of the OCR Director and the Cannabis Advisory Board.

Motta urged anyone interested in getting involved in the program, whether as a designated caregiver, a prescribing physician, a licensee, a third-party vendor, or a consultant, to reach out to the Office of Cannabis Regulations.

“Governor Bryan is particularly proud of what the legislature and executive branch have done regarding the USVI program,” Motta said. “We are the first in this country to allow for sacramental use, as we recognize as a territory that there are members in our community who partake in cannabis use for sacramental purposes.”

With a closed economy such as ours, the governor believes it is also important to provide opportunities for residents to participate in the program, whether as business owners, partners, employees and, of course, as patients, Motta said. The governor also recognizes through both the legislation and these regulations that there are members of our community who have been marginalized for possession or even selling cannabis in the past and he has endeavored to create opportunities to also participate legally by allowing for automatic expungement for certain cannabis-related crimes and encouraging individuals who are otherwise not qualified for automatic expungement to have their records expunged so that they too can also participate in this green market. It took some time to get to this point, but the rules and regs are comprehensive, and not only are they comprehensive, and they have also been vetted.

Motta reminded the community of the upcoming health and wellness fair. The VI Department of Health will open its online registration portal for the USVI Wellness Fair 2024 on Wednesday, May 22, at noon. Registration is recommended to speed up the intake process. To register, individuals are encouraged to visit vibewell. health. It takes less than 10 minutes and requires no documentation.

The USVI Wellness Fair will take place from June 1 through June 9th and is supported by the US Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training Program. Nearly 300 military medical professionals will provide free services to residents, including:

  • Dental care: exams, cleanings, fillings, and extractions.
  • Eye care: exams, emergency care, and diabetic retinal evaluations.
  • Medical screenings: blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and mental health checks.
  • Pediatric physicals: back-to-school and sports physicals.
  • Vaccinations.

The fair is open to all USVI residents, with or without insurance; no ID or proof of citizenship is required. The main locations are:

  • Educational Complex High School gymnasium on St. Croix.
  • Ivanna Eudora Kean High School gymnasium on St. Thomas.
  • Department of Health MCH Clinics for pediatric physicals and vaccinations.

Medical services will be offered:

  • Saturday, June 1: 8 am – 12 pm
  • Sunday, June 2: 10 am – 2 pm
  • Monday to Friday, June 3 – 7: 8 am – 5 pm
  • Saturday, June 8: 8 am – 12 pm

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure, and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government, and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit

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