Would you like to win a US Virgin Islands cannabis cultivation license? The newly authorized adult-use cannabis law provides opportunities for both cannabis cultivation licenses and micro-cultivation permits in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
With limited land space on these relatively small islands, the Office of Cannabis Regulations (OCR) puts a cap on the number of USVI cannabis cultivation licenses it will issue per island.
In addition, OCR will award merit-based cannabis cultivation licenses only to those with the highest scores for the cultivation licenses on the specific island for which the applicant has applied. The OCR limits the number of licenses available!
Below, our US Virgin Islands consultants provide a step-by-step guide to help you through the application process for adult-use marijuana cultivation licenses — from preparation to approval. Schedule a free consultation with our US Virgin Islands Cannabis Consultants today.
Tips for winning adult-use cultivation licenses in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Step 1: Read the Laws and Regulations
First of all, read Act 8680 (“The Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act“).
Secondly, become familiar with the website of The Office of Cannabis Regulations (OCR). It oversees the development and implementation of USVI’s cannabis cultivation licenses. Also, the OCR has the final say on scoring and awarding cannabis cultivation licenses in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Make yourself familiar with their regulatory news updates.
Our cannabis business license application writers make it simple for you to win a marijuana business license in the US Virgin Islands. Next, let’s take a look at the proposed timeline.
Step 2: Determine if you’re eligible
The Act bars any owner, principal, or member of the entity applicant from having been convicted of a Disqualifying Felony Offense. All must be of at least 21 years of age.
The applicant, including each majority owner, must meet residency requirements and supply documentation of ownership interest. Also, you must supply proof of possession of your proposed licensed premises. Reach out to our USVI marijuana cultivation consultants and we can help you make sure you are qualified.
Step 3: Engage a consultant
Allow us to manage your project from pre-licensure to post-licensure and operational. We can manage all aspects of your application writing, including:
- Development of your cannabis business plan,
- Team recruitment,
- Facility design,
- Operational support, including Standard Operating Procedures for all activities,
- Employee training, and more.
Our cannabis business consultants can help you setup your business from start to finish, including raising capital. For that, you need to determine the size of your operations.
Step 4: Determine your operational structure, such as the size of your grow
First of all, determine the size of your grow to know which type of cultivation license you are applying for, whether it be:
- Cannabis cultivation license – OCR currently sets the production limits for cultivation licensees to no less than 500 and no more than 1000 flowering plants at a single time, or
- Micro-cultivation permit – a permittee must have less than 50 flowering plants, and 200 immature plants at any single time.
Once you’ve determined the extent of your intended operations, you can best form your business entity.
Step 5: Form a business entity
OCR will annually evaluate production limits for both licensees and permittees and may revise the license limits depending upon evaluated need and supply. In addition, OCR will assess annual fees on a sliding scale based on the number of plants grown.
Finally, an applicant for a cannabis cultivation license in the Virgin Islands must organize under 13 V.I.C. or 26 V.I.C. of the Virgin Islands Code. If you are unsure what type of business entity would work best for your proposed operations, engage our cultivation consultants or work with an attorney to choose the best structure for your business.
Step 6: Develop a Business Plan
A viable business plan is crucial and you must fully cover certain requirements. Most importantly, your business plan should demonstrate proof to OCR that your entity can and will safely and successfully produce and distribute adult-use cannabis products for consumers and patients in the US Virgin Islands.
For example, business plans for cultivation facility applications must demonstrate:
- The ability to maintain an adequate supply of cannabis,
- Plans to ensure safety and security of patrons, and protection of the community,
- Diversion prevention plans, and
- Plans to make cannabis available to low-income registered qualified patients.
Secondly, and equally important, your business plan should demonstrate how your business will add to the social and economic equity program initiatives in the Virgin Islands.
Therefore, choose wisely the central figures that you will bring to your team for your USVI cannabis cultivation business venture.
Step 7: Build a cannabis cultivation team in the U.S. Virgin Islands
With our team talent acquisition services, you will be pleased with how we can help you put together the ideal team for the approval of your cultivation license. Reach out today for more information about our personalized business application and consulting services.
Finally, building a great team makes raising capital easier!
Step 8: Raise Capital
First of all, it’s essential to plan carefully and secure the required application fees in advance. You may see this fee as minuscule for upfront costs to start a cultivation business in the USVI, but the application fee is just the tip of the iceberg. You must factor in equipment costs; facility costs such as leases and renovations, lighting, security, labor costs, and many more costs to a new marijuana business. We can help you plan, itemize and strategize for all your start-up costs.
Secondly, if you don’t already have the capital necessary for a successful cannabis business, we’ll help you pitch your business to cannabis industry investors.
Thirdly, our US Virgin Islands cultivation license consultants will ensure that your business entity and its funding comply. We can help you raise capital and ensure that any minority or majority owners, permitted interest holders, reasonable royalty holders, and financial interest holders are allowable per the Act’s requirements.
Finally, it is crucial that your cultivation business promotes a prosperous future for the residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is key to the Act’s push for legal grow opportunities on the islands for its citizens. Next, we’ll discuss the importance of your facility location on the islands.
Step 9: Choose a location for your adult-use cannabis cultivation
Remember that due to the limited land space in these clustered islands, the OCR will award merit-based USVI marijuana cultivation licenses only to those businesses with the highest application score on the specific island for which the cultivation license is being sought.
The OCR has set a cap on the number of licenses available for each of the main islands, as follows:
- St. Thomas
- Up to 15 Cannabis Cultivation Licenses.
- St. John
- Up to five Cannabis Cultivation Licenses.
- St. Croix
- Up to 15 Cannabis Cultivation Licenses.
Therefore, choose your facility location wisely. Also, be aware that a cannabis cultivation licensed premise:
- May not be located less than 250 feet from a school or house of worship,
- Cannot be located less than 250 feet of the perimeter of any cruise ship-bearing dock or pier in the Territory.
Also of interest to prospective cultivation license applicants: Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, and Frederiksted Historic Districts and the town of Cruz Bay may impose additional requirements such as security, odor control, and community engagement. However, within these districts, distance requirements can be waived or reduced by the OCR. Still, keep in mind that the historic districts issue additional restrictions and guidance regarding signage and fencing.
Our cannabis business consultants can help you find and nail down a cultivation facility location on the island best suited for your business means and mission.
Step 10: Garner Local Support with the help of our US Virgin Islands cannabis cultivation experts
Once you’ve identified property and your location, you can begin building support from local organizations. The US Virgin Islands have no local municipality governorship; its government operates for the territory as a whole.
Strong local support will help you score higher on your merit-based cultivation application. Also, among other requirements, your application will need to demonstrate:
- Proposed community engagement and cooperation plans including evidence of support from community members, and
- Evidence of charitable contributions and/or scholarships.
In addition, our US Virgin Islands cannabis consultants can help you build relationships with local businesses, state and community non-profits. Show how your cannabis business will support existing civil efforts and positively impact your community. Show how you will be a good neighbor.
Now, onto the most important step to win a cannabis business license in the USVI!
Step 11: Write and submit your application for a Virgin Islands Cannabis Cultivation License
Firstly, OCR will award merit-based cannabis cultivation licenses only to those applicants with the highest application scores for the specific island’s license cap. Remember, the cap on cultivation licenses is up to 5 on St. John, and up to 15 each on St. Croix and St. Thomas.
The application process will be highly competitive! The OCR will score your marijuana cultivation application based on several US Virgin Islands cannabis business license application requirements. Therefore, it’s not an easy task to win a USVI cultivation license.
Lastly, it’s not all about how much capital you can raise. Your ultimate task involves hours of technical writing, research, community outreach and collaborative planning. Let us help you produce the most highly competitive application. We’ll make the paperwork and application process more simple, so that your time is well-spent and rewarding.
Summary on Virgin Islands cannabis cultivation licenses
In conclusion, our experienced cannabis licensing team has years of experience winning marijuana licenses in over 27 states and across the globe in 6 countries. We can help you write and assemble your entire application, saving you time and money.
Schedule a call with our U.S. Virgin Islands cannabis consultants today to learn more about how we can help you start your cannabis cultivation business in the U.S. Virgin Islands. With us on your side, you can significantly improve your odds of winning a license. Realize your dream of marijuana green grows for a better tomorrow in the Virgin Islands.
Additional information related to cannabis cultivation licenses in the Virgin Islands
Authorized Conduct for US Virgin Islands cultivation licenses
Cannabis Cultivation Licensees may be authorized to conduct the following activities:
- Cultivate, cure, process, internally-test, store, package, and label cannabis,
- Store, sell, purchase, receive, transfer, and transport cannabis items to and from other cannabis licensees in accordance with the rules.
- Licensee may obtain seeds or immature cannabis plants from non-licensed or permitted individuals only within the the first 30 days after its cultivation facility is operational, per OCR determination. The OCR allows exceptions upon its discretion and the applicant’s good cause due to commercially reasonable needs, but you require prior written approval.
Thereafter, a cannabis cultivation licensee is only authorized to purchase cannabis items from:
- Cannabis Research and Development Licensees, and
- Other Cannabis Cultivation licensees or Micro-Cultivation Permittees.
In addition, OCR may authorize a licensee to cultivate cannabis outdoors provided it meet the OCR requirements for such activities.
Micro-Cultivation Permittees may be authorized to conduct the following activities:
- Cultivate, cure, process, and store cannabis, and
- Sell, transfer, and transport cannabis items to cannabis licensees in accordance with the rules.
Cannabis Cultivation Licensees:
An owner may not hold a micro-cultivation permit. However, it may hold a cannabis dispensary permit.
First, an individual may possess only one micro-cultivation permit. Also, the OCR will issue no more than one Micro-cultivation permit to a single address. A permittee may not hold an interest in any other cannabis business license.
Secondly, OCR forbids micro-cultivation permits on land leased by the Government of the Virgin Islands.
Also, permits will only be issued to farmers licensed with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
A micro-cultivation permittee may not cultivate cannabis plants for commercial use outside of its designated micro-cultivation site and may only sell harvested cannabis cultivated within its permitted site.
Also, a micro-cultivation permittee may not consume any of the cannabis permitted to be grown for commercial-use only. OCR requmicro-cultivation cannabis plants must be physically separated from plants cultivated for medicinal personal use by qualified patient, designated caregivers, or for sacramental use.
A cannabis cultivation licensee may not make any changes to its ownership without approval from the OCR. In addition, a license is not transferable unless the licensee formally applies for a Change of Ownership, which the OCR reserves the right to approve or deny by considering the requirements of the Code and any of its promulgated rules.
No application for transfer of ownership or change in the business structure of any cultivation license shall be approved by the OCR until all taxes, sales taxes, any fines, penalties, and interest assessed against or imposed upon such licensee in relation to the licensed business are paid in full.
In addition, a micro-cultivation permit is issued to a single individual and may not have its ownership transferred.
Links to useful resources and related articles:
- USVI Department of Agriculture’s History of Agriculture in the USVI
- Government of US Virgin Islands Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Business Licenses
- Cannabis Manufacturing Licenses in the US Virgin Islands
- USVI Cannabis Dispensary Licenses
- U.S. Virgin Islands Cannabis Consultants – Overview
- Cannabis Consultants in Texas