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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2023

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Table of contents

  1. Benefits of Having a Medical Card in the U.S. Virgin Islands
  2. Eligibility Requirements
  3. Qualifying Conditions
  4. How to Apply
  5. Costs
  6. Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
  7. Applying as a Caregiver
  8. Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
  9. Cultivation
  10. The U.S. Virgin Islands Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

In 2019, Gov. Albert Bryan signed the Virgin Islands Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act into law. But patients can’t apply for medical marijuana cards in the U.S. Virgin Islands just yet.

Experts predict that the Caribbean territory’s medical cannabis market will launch early in 2023. Once that happens, residents and visitors can apply for a U.S. Virgin Islands medical marijuana card through the Office of Cannabis Regulations (OCR).

Leafwell cannot support online medical marijuana applications in the U.S. Virgin Islands due to this delay. However, we’re working to provide medical card appointments and application assistance as soon as possible, so join our waitlist to be the first to know when we open.

In the meantime, let’s review everything patients need to know about obtaining a U.S. Virgin Islands medical marijuana card, including qualifying conditions, costs, and benefits.

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Benefits of Having a Medical Card in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Medical Marijuana cards are not yet available in the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, the territory’s medical market is much closer to launching than the recreational program, which just passed in January 2023. As a result, medical marijuana cards will be the only legal route to purchasing cannabis products in the next couple of years.

U.S. Virgin Islands medical marijuana cards will also likely provide accessibility and affordability benefits that recreational cannabis purchases won’t offer. For example:

  • Medical marijuana patients are exempt from excise taxes in most cases. Conversely, experts predict recreational sales will include a minimum 18% rate.
  • The Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act allows medical marijuana patients to possess up to four ounces and cultivate up to 12 plants. The legalization bill caps possession at two ounces.
  • 18-year-olds and minors can access medical marijuana under certain conditions. Recreational use is limited to adults 21 and older.
  • Medical marijuana patients may be able to access dispensaries that are not open to the public.

Eligibility Requirements

The Virgin Islands OCR will soon accept medical marijuana card applications from residents who have lived in the country for 45 days or more. To qualify for the medical use program, patients must be diagnosed with a debilitating condition by a licensed physician.

The practitioner may be a physician, osteopath, chiropractor, or nurse practitioner. Additionally, the physician must issue a written recommendation stating the patient’s condition requires medical cannabis care.

Non-residents can obtain a temporary Virgin Islands medical marijuana card by presenting a valid medical card issued by the state, territory, or country in which they reside.

Can Minors Get a Medical Card in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Minors can apply for medical cards in the U.S. Virgin Islands when the Office of Cannabis Regulations starts certifying patients this year. However, a few more steps will be involved, and minors must have a caregiver.

Qualifying Conditions

The United States Virgin Islands law lists the following medical issues as qualifying conditions for a medical cannabis card in the territory:

Patients with conditions that cause cachexia or wasting, severe nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms are also eligible. Additionally, practitioners may prescribe medical marijuana for “any condition that provides a therapeutic or palliative benefit to their patient.”

How to Apply

Adults 18 and older must bring a letter from their healthcare provider and apply to the U.S. Virgin Islands Office of Cannabis Regulations. Patients must also pay associated fees.

Steps to Apply

The steps below will take effect when the OCR opens its patient registry and starts accepting applications sometime this year.

  1. Attend a physician appointment to review the medical condition and medical marijuana eligibility.
  2. Request a U.S. Virgin Islands Medical Marijuana Card recommendation letter from the provider.
  3. Send the application, note, and $50 fee to the Office of Cannabis Regulation.
  4. Wait for the U.S. Virgin Islands medical marijuana card to arrive in the mail.

Visiting patients who are non-residents will need to bring their existing state-issued medical marijuana card and a letter from their doctor verifying their required use of marijuana.

Costs

Leafwell does not currently offer telemedicine appointments for Virgin Islands residents. However, our convenient telehealth appointments range from $49 to $199.

The U.S. Virgin Islands charges a $50 application fee for med cards, which qualifying patients must renew yearly. Non-residents will pay $50-$100 for temporary cards ranging from five to thirty days.

Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

The U.S. Virgin Islands has medical marijuana reciprocity, meaning it recognizes medical marijuana cards from other U.S. states and territories. However, medical patients must still get a temporary card specific to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Applying as a Caregiver

Information about becoming a caregiver to a minor in the U.S. Virgin Islands is limited. The rules and regulations vary between states and territories. In general, a caregiver must be at least 21 years of age, have no felony convictions, and cannot be an active medical marijuana patient.

Where to Buy Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in the Virgin Islands, including St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. However, the Office of Cannabis Cannabis Regulations has not yet started accepting dispensary or patient applications.

Cultivation

U.S. Virgin Islands medical marijuana patients can grow up to 12 plants at home in various stages of development.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

The U.S. Virgin Islands recently approved a comprehensive set of laws and regulations governing the use of medical marijuana.

  • U.S. Virgin Islands medical marijuana cardholders must have a qualifying medical condition and receive a doctor’s referral.
  • Patients can possess up to four ounces of cannabis flower and grow up to 12 plants at home.
  • State-licensed dispensaries and patient applications have yet to be operational, although the territory expects to launch the market soon.
  • Caregivers must register with the Office of Cannabis Regulations for approval.
  • The region does offer reciprocity for medical marijuana patients that reside in U.S. states outside the Caribbean territory.

For more information, visit the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health website.

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Article written by

Elena Schmidt