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Gov't wants 100 VIslanders planting marijuana by May 2020

- Premier Fahie says new plan is to empower each person with half acre of cannabis farmland
In South Africa, Cannabis plants are harvested at Hennops, near Johannesburg, as part of the local medical marijuana industry. Photo: AP/FIle
According to the Premier Andrew A. Fahie, his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government is also exploring ways to get established medical marijuana companies to enter the VI with the aims of helping to innovate the industry. Photo: VINO/File
According to the Premier Andrew A. Fahie, his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government is also exploring ways to get established medical marijuana companies to enter the VI with the aims of helping to innovate the industry. Photo: VINO/File
The initiative to earmark lands to locals for the cultivation of marijuana was first revealed in the 2020 report on the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) released on Thursday, December 19, 2019. Photo: VINO/File
The initiative to earmark lands to locals for the cultivation of marijuana was first revealed in the 2020 report on the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) released on Thursday, December 19, 2019. Photo: VINO/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI - Initially set with a target of 40 farmers for 40 acres of land, the now developing medical marijuana industry in the Virgin Islands (VI) will now target 100 Virgin Islanders with 50 acres of land to get them planting cannabis by May 2020.

The new target was revealed by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) during the first January 7, 2020 episode of the 'Honestly Speaking' radio show, on public radio ZBVI 780 AM.

"We started the year off with some very serious meetings to get this industry going, we want it going by May, which means we have a lot of work to be done," Hon Fahie said.

As such, he noted that the plan is now to speed up the establishment of the industry while maintaining transparency and accountability. 

Lands for Locals

"We are looking at Paraquita Bay for 50 acres of land, to empower 100 Virgin Islanders... 100 Belongers and we are doing it by districts and also the Territorial Members will also be able to include some youngsters, so at least the minimum of 10 persons per district," the Premier revealed as the ultimate plan.

"We want to be able to give the 100 of them, each of them a half-acre of land and this is what we are working towards so that they now can become the captains of their own ship and destiny financially," he said.

According to the Premier, his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government is also exploring ways to get established medical marijuana companies to enter the VI with the aims of helping to innovate the industry.

"That's going to open up the BVI tremendously, and what incentives will we give to those investors, whether they are local or foreign, we also working on those," he said. 

Virgin Islanders won't get 'High' 

Defending the initiative, the Premier said that nothing God created is 'bad' and that marijuana has good medical components and beneficial by-products which will not result in Virgin Islanders getting 'high'. 

The initiative to earmark lands to locals for the cultivation of marijuana was first revealed in the 2020 report on the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) released on Thursday, December 19, 2019. 

According to the report, along with the marijuana cultivation, a local lab will be established for testing purposes with the projected $5M revenues for the industry set to exceed estimates in the first year of cultivation. 

37 Responses to “Gov't wants 100 VIslanders planting marijuana by May 2020”

  • Guest (14/01/2020, 07:47) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply it
  • Is Marijuana now Legal (14/01/2020, 08:24) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    The fact that Gov't wants locals to be planting Marijuana. Has the laws changed. Is is now legal to grow and use Marijuana in the territory. What makes these 40 farmers different than the man in carrot bay.
    • Logic (14/01/2020, 09:34) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      The difference is it will no longer be illegal therefore not a crime.
  • i wanna know (14/01/2020, 08:40) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who will guard this 50 acres site, the bodyguards????????????
    • Too True! (14/01/2020, 15:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @I wanna know - Spot on! What's the security story for each grower's plot of land?
  • Farmers (14/01/2020, 08:41) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    What about the farmers who already have land? If you're looking at established BVI farmers they already HAVE land. Do you expect them to travel to Paraquita Bay everyday to tend another farm? Let them grow on their own land. These are the people who deserve this opportunity!
  • Feel n Sad (14/01/2020, 08:55) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    No Mr. Premier... 200 people waaay too much... I applaud the initiative, I applaud making it happen. But its a new experiment, we don't fully no the out come...Let's start with 20 BvIslanders and 15 belongers. See where it goes. Fix what will need fixing. Then We can expand to another 20 BVIslanders and 15 belongers.... Listen carefully 200 planters now or whenever is starting a ganger war amongst Ganja growers... Better believe that. ...
  • Disinterested (14/01/2020, 09:13) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everything this government attempts to do it wants done with lightning speed. It dress everything to impress. In case the VIP forget, on Feb 25, a majority of people was impressed with the VIP’s presentation and elected it to lead the territory. Thus, in leading, it must strategically plan and replan projects, crossing the I and dotting T. It seems mesmerized with the unconventional nonsense and the sheep will follow the leader right off the cliff just as the Republicans with the stable genius and Conservatives with Boris. Anyway, enough of that so let's talk weed.

    All marijuana is not the same; marijuana/cannabis/weed/mary jane consist of approximately 500 chemicals. The two most prominent are THC (recreational; the strain that get you high)and CBD(cannabitriol, medical marijuana). CBD is none-psychoactive. I’m assuming that the Premier is waxing about CBD that will be a controlled substance ( Schedule 1 drug). As a control substance, the framework must be put in place to grow, produce, harvest, control and distribute it. Many locales are seeing marijuana, ie., medical marijuana, as the panacea for their economic/budget shortfalls. Both Advanced and Emerging countries are in market and the competition will be cutthroat. To compete successfully and with efficacy, the BVI must differentiate itself. It must provide greater value or provide comparable value at a lower cost or both. Nuff questions to answer before attempting to roll out in 2020.

    The questions include 1)will the locally produced pot be just for local consumption, 2) if for export, who will it xport to, 3) which agency will have the production role and responsibility, 4) will this project be brought to the HOA as an agenda item or a unilateral decision will be made, 5) who will control the quality of CBD, 6) where is the testing lab, 7)how will government acquire revenue, 8)100 farmers farming 50 acres ( 0.5 acres per farmer) Is this the best way, 9) will the tens of people convicted for smoking a likle weed have their records expunged, 10)will government/HoA pass law authorizing residents to possess small quantities of THC for personal use( include cultivating)......etc and so on.
    • ... (14/01/2020, 10:58) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      We chanted free the weed.

      Next we will be chanting free the THC.

      Waiting to see.
  • Inquiring Minds (14/01/2020, 09:19) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    How much is the government/medical institutions paying for a pound of this weed??? My reason for asking this is because if it is not pricey enough the illegal trade will continue
  • ganja farmer (14/01/2020, 09:22) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    I want to plant on my own land because it is more fertile than paraquita bay
  • Cali Man (14/01/2020, 09:42) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yall will learn the hard way from this ganja thing as yall compete for the most potent herb. What people are looking for in potency CANNOT be produced on the land and natural elements alone. Those who take the organic route will be put out of business by those who use chemicals to produce the strongest strains. The marijuana industry in California is swiftly shutting down as 80% of the legal herb samples are contaminated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The natural herb SIMPLY does not produce the high that our customers will be looking for as the natural her thc ranges from 0.2% to 1% thc while cbd which is the medicinal product is higher by a few more percent. When marijuana is bred to be higher in thc which has no medicinal value, this decreases the cbd which contains all the medicinal value. Essentially we will be selling a high to people.
    • ... (14/01/2020, 10:55) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply

      THC has medicinal and spiritual value.

      YOU are spreading misinformation, right up there with vaccines. It is only a few years ago we discovered human bodies have a cannabinoid system.

      CBD is one of MANY cannabinoids that all work together to produce the healing effects people have known weed to have all these many years.

      HEMP on the other hand was bred for centruries to produce maximum fiber for textile production.

      HEMP BEING HIGH IN CBD IS DUE TO MODERN BREEDING, in the last ~3 years!!! - HIGH CBD marijuana is an attempt to grow weed in US states where hemp is legal but weed as we know it & love it, is not.

      Nothing wrong with THC, what is wrong is PASSING OFF WEED AS HEMP to people who have never tried either.

      Its a sad world were money says what goes.

      This herb is for the healing of the nation and if its not expanding your consciousness as its is supposed to then we are stuck in the mud.

      Might as well hit the bar and have a drink!
      • @... (19/01/2020, 13:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        THC cannot connect you to God that is only through the Holy Spirit so get off that weed you're smoking talking about spiritual value.

        Lest you forget the devil has evil spirits too and week smoking opens the third eye that connects you to the devil and for those of you who wearing these third eye clothing, getting these third eye tattoos, etc are opening up your souls to satan giving him free will.

        Look up this information and stop being jumping on every trend.
  • Holy Smokes! (14/01/2020, 10:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who’s gonna smoke 50 acres of weed?

    Is this for export? Who is the market? How is going to be shipped it? Via BVI Post Office?
  • Environment Warrior (14/01/2020, 10:49) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr Premier, you are looking for 100 Virgin Islanders to grow marijuana by the month of May. Is this number in addition the thousand belongers already engaged in cultivation and distribution. It appears the beautiful B V I has gone to pot. New marijuana growers will need to be careful when applying for a US or British Passport.On the application pages there is a box asking for occupation of the applicant, for example, Marijuana Grower. Good luck.
  • pat (14/01/2020, 11:11) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Free the weed
  • Ok. HA Casinos... (14/01/2020, 11:23) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Isn't Casinos need to be legalized.. It's great family and friends's a game of chance just as life is and it has financial benefits for government. Put n your pocket or purse when you going thee just what you can afford to lose. . I love Casino hang outs. Whenever I travel Casino is my hang out spots. I don't always play. Just the atmosphere the Vybz, nice place to socialize
  • GG (14/01/2020, 12:41) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Am I reading right, or this is a nightmare gone wrong? Where have we come to in the BVI? What is the urgency for BVI to become a large scale producer of what is currently a narcotic addictive substance that has completely ruined the lives of so many of our youth and others? Where is the urgency for developing a true agricultural industry for actually feeding our country? A sad chapter in BVI history.
    • Seriously (14/01/2020, 18:59) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      When I heard about this article, I seriously thought that it was a joke! Would have thought that such emphasis would have been on planting/farming for actual food for the population to eat, especially with all the turmoil going on in the world. If farming of food to feed the population is adequate, then we would not have some of the anxieties, experienced after the 2017 Hurricanes when the ships were delayed with bringing supply of food and other goods. Think about it.
  • Not2Sure (14/01/2020, 12:53) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can we eat the weed we need to plant food
  • @Premier (14/01/2020, 13:04) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    "Nothing God created isnt bad" said the premier.
    Asked about SATAN, he sure isnt good and it is God that created him. So your arguments has holes....
    • @ @Premier (14/01/2020, 16:41) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply hit the nail on the head!!!!!! What the lord created for GOOD the De
    • Cali Man (14/01/2020, 16:52) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      @@Premier.......I was trying to say what the Lord create for GOOD, the devil manipulate for MISCHIEF...... Yes the original plant is good.....but the devil breed all the goodness out of it and have people fool. It should be more CBD and less THC..... THC gets you high but the CBD is where the healing comes from.....This type of weed high in CBD will allow people to function regularly without the effects of being stoned.... We dont want tour buses, taxis, pilots, sailors, Doctors or anyone who have to put your life in their hands HIGH on ANYTHING!
      • @cali man (15/01/2020, 09:44) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        You must be one of these foreign investors.

        fooling the people with this THC bad CBD good propaganda.

        Legalize the herb on all levels and get off this notion of "HIGH" as a bad thing.

        Id rather be in a plane with a pilot high off the best herb than in a car with a drunk driver.

        The devil has a silver tongue and you are manipulating language to make it seem all "high" is the same thing.

        By your own logic people need to stop having sex because it makes them high.

        Long ago we were not human beings, we were NEGROS.

      • @cali man (19/01/2020, 13:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        They're full speed ahead on a train wreck.

        "Marijuana enthusiasts often point to Genesis 1:11 (“Let the earth bring forth grass”) and other verses (Genesis 1:29; 3:18) to justify the smoking of what they refer to as “grass.” They say that since God created the plant and declared it “good,” it should therefore be enjoyed. It is true that He created it, and that everything He made has some purpose in creation. For example, hemp (from which marijuana is made) is very useful in making strong rope. God also created sand (which is good), and if someone wants to eat sand by the spoonful, they may do so. However, they shouldn’t complain if they get a stomachache.

        While God had a practical use for marijuana, man decided for some reason to burn it and kill his brain cells by inhaling its harmful fumes. Likewise, man decided to use the beautiful poppy to destroy his life with incredibly addictive heroin. Breathing in the burning fumes of anything is extremely unhealthy, and those who do so aren’t thinking very deeply. This is one reason why marijuana is called “dope.” Those who smoke “grass” will waste their days, wither their brain, and forget what they are doing."
  • . (14/01/2020, 13:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dont agree with this.
  • Zap (14/01/2020, 15:26) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pretty sure god invented mosquitos and they are definitely bad.
  • Historical Note (14/01/2020, 16:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    One word: Greenhouses
  • Observe (14/01/2020, 16:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    All this might sound good to some but as a farmer the government has not mention anything about the weather
    affecting the planting, short days for long crop and long days for short crop which happens to be our hurricane season ,shorts days you to fight with the cold front coming down from north with cold rain causing the weed to be stress resulting in hempi buds full of seeds. Greenhouses cant work because of the type of hurricanes passing ,insurance company aint going insure your weed , and government cant afford to build a mega facility to grow indoor. its a plan destine to fail take your time build a structure that can have the marijuana grown indoor, haste make waste.

  • josiah'sbay (14/01/2020, 19:12) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Medical marijuana may not have sufficient participants to support the industry, so I suggest that we go for recreational marijuana use for maximum support.
  • Why (14/01/2020, 22:26) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    You already know who knows de crop. Let them grow it. All you wasting time.. on de production. All you need not teach tmde people who know what to to do. All you want all the so all revenue but all you pockett all you want fill
  • Diaspora (15/01/2020, 05:22) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Government is giddy and seeing green and rushing into the cannabis growing business, particularly the medical marijuana business (CBD). Government needs to slow its roll and properly research the business before jumping headlong into it. Geez sum bred meh son, this government moves bud speed ahead with everything, trying to please everyone at once. Growing marijuana is more than just planting some seeds and providing light and moisture. Marijuana is a popular and complex plant that consist of a blend of many chemicals (480+) that work together and against each other to attain the desired effect. There are male/female plants, various strains, levels of THC, CBD......etc content........etc. Further, chemical balances vary widely from plant to plants. Thus, the strain grown by two farmers can have different effect on the same person. Production chemical consistency is critical and important. Typically, the THC and CBD content averages 3%. However, to compete, the chemical must be much higher. Some entities have gotten the chemical content up to 37%. This entails much cross breeding........etc. In addition to farmers, botanists, geneticists........etc are needed. The business is much more than planting seeds, harvesting and selling. A May 2020 rollout way too ambitious a timeline. The government revenue project is also optimistic. By the way, other than the 100 farmers will other people be allow to grow medical marijuana, and hemp(hemp is cannabis with little or no THC). Will residents be allowed a few ounces of recreational marijuana (Cannabis with THC) for personal use? Antigua, Jamaica and other regional countries do it. The BVI was one of the last countries to remove band on dread locks; will it also be the last on small quantities of recreational pot for personal use?
    • Study this comment (15/01/2020, 16:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      For once a person who knows.

      Everybody need to get educated on this level.
  • Really now???? (19/01/2020, 13:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Defending the initiative, the Premier said that nothing God created is 'bad' and that marijuana has good medical components and beneficial by-products which will not result in Virgin Islanders getting 'high'."

    This is the biggest mistake this government is making so far. We have people HOOKED on marijuana and DO NOT realise that they are, which leads to a range of bad behaviours.

    Who is going to OVERSEE this WEED GROWING (when you look they're selling getting others high and smoking away the "profit").

    Follow fashion is not good. Not because the rest of the Caribbean or world or most people are doing something does not make it right.

    Try stop bring God into mess.
    • Hmm (20/01/2020, 09:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      you are so brainwashed and short sighted that you dont realize you are.

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