“This is the first time I ever saw this in my political career with the bill [which] was approved by the House of Assembly and it was now referred to the Foreign Secretary and some other entities in the UK,” the Premier said on the Tuesday, January 12, 2020, edition of the Honestly Speaking show on ZBVI 780 AM.
“We have been informed who we must contact with this but, we have some more negotiations to do because we're not clear as a government why and we are not clear as a government what more is expected of us, because there's a process,” he said.
The Premier said the hold-up is an impediment to the local economy and pointed out that even as the VI's medical marijuana industry has been on pause, the UK is projecting billions for its own local marijuana industry.
The UK, through Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert, had called for the VI and the UK Home Office to work together to take preliminary steps to transfer licencing authority power and to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding so that the new industry will not breach the 1961 Convention or any international law.
Government has been adamant the Bill is not in any breach of international law or any other regulations.
“All we're trying to do is to get in the market with the right legislation and policies to get a fair share and open up new areas for plenty of employment for people.”
Hon Fahie said the government is seeking mutual respect to get the bill assented and to avoid any back and forth with the UK in relation to the creation of this economic industry.
The VI Cannabis Licensing Act, 2020, was passed on June 30, 2020 and sent to the Governor's Office on July 27, 2020.