AKIL JACOBS, USVI NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hello this is Akil Jacobs with CBS USVI, I’m here with the Commissioner of Agriculture Positive Nelson. Hi nice to meet you Positive Nelson.
POSITIVE NELSON, VI COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE: Thank you very much and thank you for this interview
AKIL JACOBS, USVI NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Ok I had some quick questions about the marijuana industry, and various people have been asking me to ask these questions, what do you think is a fair projected starting date to the industry, since the Governor has put out in the newspaper that, we may need some more time, I know that many of the articles said that we were going to start in the fall. But, what do you think is a good starting date for the industry?
POSITIVE NELSON, VI COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE: If we are serious about getting a board together and getting going, by the end of the year we should be able to have a board and regulations in place. Regulations are not that hard, I heard that Mr. Evangelista’s statement about we can’t cut and paste, and I agree. However, there are so many models to go by, its not new language we’ll be creating we’ll be putting in characteristics that’s suitable for this territory. So, I don’t believe that’s a complicated process. In fair estimate November, December, we should have permits granted, license issued, qualified patients, regulations in places as well. Of course, the clicker begins with the governor naming the board and the board passing the legislature and being able to get to work.
AKIL JACOBS, USVI NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Next question, what is the selections process, let’s say I am going to go, I want to start a dispensary, how am I able, well first of all how many dispensaries are we going to allow throughout St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix and then how do I go about being one of the selected to get a dispensary.
POSITIVE NELSON, VI COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE: Ok well there is no limitation on applicants, if there is too much saturation happening then the office of cannabis regulation can determine that there are too many dispensaries already approved, the dispensaries are going to be, and there are some regulations awaiting to be written by the OCR, but the dispensaries are going to have to ensure that they have a secured room, like a safe room to lock away money and product. They have to ensure that they are in a proper locations and certain safeguards like camera systems etcetera, etcetera but those details are going to be in the rules and regulations.
AKIL JACOBS, USVI NEWS CORRESPONDENT: As the Commissioner of agriculture, what’s the process to get some land from the government to be able to now grow or starting a growing operation.
POSITIVE NELSON, VI COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE: I’m glad you ask that question because we are not at this time, the department of Agriculture will not be allowing its leased lands to be used for cannabis cultivation, our focus is food, that where we are going to stay, we are going to leave that up to the private industry with the buying and selling or leasing of land. Our land leases are mainly for food.
AKIL JACOBS, USVI NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Akil Jacobs with CBS USVI, just wrapped up our interview with the Commissioner of Agriculture Positive Nelson, we got to speak about the marijuana industry and how Virgin Islanders can become a part of this industry as well as the projected start date.