Is CBD oil legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) sourced from hemp or marijuana is legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

A 2016 law, Bill No. 31-0330, made a provision that any changes to federal regulations regarding industrial hemp would be adopted.  Following the 2018 Farm Bill enacted by the U.S. Congress, the cultivation and use of industrial hemp became legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

CBD products derived from cannabis are legal but subject to the regulations expressed in the Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Patient Care Act, signed into law in 2019 by Democratic Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. as Act 8167. The creation of the act was a result of a 2014 referendum in which 56.5% of voters voted in favor of the licensing and regulation of medicinal cannabis in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Although the act has been signed into law, the rules and regulations for the medical cannabis industry have not yet been finalized.

The act recognized the extensive therapeutic history of cannabis and its value in treating a wide range of debilitating medical and psychological conditions. The act defines cannabis to include every compound, resin, and extract extracted from the plant. While adult use of cannabis is still illegal, cannabis has been decriminalized for those with less than an ounce in their possession.

What is CBD?

CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is the second-most-abundant cannabinoid found in the plant after THC. CBD purportedly offers anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant properties. It can be sourced from marijuana or industrial hemp plants. 

Why is CBD sometimes illegal?

Hemp strains don't produce enough of the cannabinoid THC to cause intoxication, but all types of cannabis, including hemp, were considered illegal under the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation swept all cannabis under the Schedule 1 umbrella, which defined cannabis as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp cultivation and created a clear pathway to remove some cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Under the new legislation, hemp is classified as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight, while marijuana is classified as cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC. As a result, hemp-derived CBD was descheduled by the bill, but because marijuana is categorized as a Schedule 1 substance, CBD that is derived from the marijuana plant is still considered federally illegal. While hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity under the 2018 Farm Bill, it still must be produced and sold under regulations that implement the bill. The USDA has yet to create these regulations.

How long does CBD oil stay in your system?
Laws and regulations regarding CBD are evolving nationwide.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The Farm Bill also endowed the FDA with the ability to regulate CBD's labeling, therapeutic claims, and presence in foods or drinks. Despite the Farm Bill's passage, the FDA has issued a directive that no CBD, not even hemp-derived, may be added to food or beverages or marketed as a dietary supplement. As time passes, the FDA has begun re-evaluating that stance on CBD products but has yet to revise rules or specifically regulate CBD products. The FDA's slow movement has created further confusion on the state level.

The FDA has historically been strict when it comes to health claims or content that could be understood as medical advice — and makes no exception for CBD.

Hemp production and sale, including its cannabinoids and CBD specifically, remain tightly regulated federally. The Farm Bill provides that individual states may also regulate and even prohibit CBD cultivation and commerce. States may attempt to regulate CBD in food, beverage, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently of the FDA's rules.

U.S. Virgin Islands CBD laws

A March 2016 law, Bill No. 31-0330, made a provision that any changes to federal regulations regarding industrial hemp would be adopted. It also defined hemp as cannabis with 0.3% or less THC by weight. 

The 2017 Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Patient Care Act  includes CBD because it defines cannabis to mean the entire plant, seeds, and their derivatives. The act defines the term “cannabis” to include and be used interchangeably with “marijuana.” 

The law also defines cannabis products to include those intended for human consumption, such as edibles, tinctures, oils and beverages. The bill created the Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR) within the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, which will be responsible for the regulation of cannabis in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The descheduling of hemp by the 2018 Farm Bill paved the way for hemp to be grown and sold commercially in the U.S. Virgin Islands

CBD sourced from cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC is also legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where it is known as hemp. Cannabis-derived CBD, however, is subject to the regulations specified by the U.S. Virgin Islands Medicinal Cannabis Patient Care Act. In contrast, however, federal law deems CBD sourced from cannabis a Schedule 1 controlled substance. 

The U.S. Virgin Islands Office of Cannabis Regulation has yet to issue any guidelines or regulations regarding the use of CBD in foods, beverages, dietary supplements, or cosmetics.

Licensing requirements for CBD

CBD products derived from cannabis are subject to the same regulations as medicinal cannabis products. The Cannabis Advisory Board is responsible for issuing regulations for the Office of Cannabis Regulation. At the time of writing, these had not yet been promulgated. Bill No. 32-0135 indicates that these forthcoming regulations will cover:

  • Labeling requirements for cannabis and cannabis products, including the length of time it takes for a product to take effect; the ingredients and possible allergens; a Supplement Fact panel; and clear identification on the packaging of edible products containing cannabis.
  • Safe, accurate and appropriate child-proof packaging of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products.
  • Certification standards for testing facilities.
  • Requirements for equipment and qualifications for personnel.

The bill also outlines the penalties for sale violations. It is a felony for a medical cannabis business to sell or transfer cannabis to a nonresident medical cardholder, or anyone besides a medical cardholder or medical cannabis establishment. The resulting penalty is up to two years in prison, a fine of $3,000, or both.

Cannabis cultivation facilities within the U.S. Virgin Islands that produce CBD products derived from cannabis must also be registered with the Office of Cannabis Regulation.

New formulations of CBD allow the cannabinoid to be used in a variety of ways.
Photo by: (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

Cultivation licensing fees adhere to the following sliding scale:

  • (a)  Level I - Not to exceed 100 plants: $1,000; $500 for existing farmers
  • (b)  Level II - Not to exceed 500 plants: $2,500.00; $2,000.00 for existing farmers
  • (c) Level III - Not to exceed 1,000 plants: $5,000.00; $4,500.00 for existing farmers

The Cannabis Advisory Board will issue further regulations regarding the cultivation of medicinal cannabis products and the expected standards of such cultivation facilities.

There are presently no stated regulations for CBD products derived from industrial hemp. Those interested in cultivating industrial hemp for commercial purposes must, however, apply to the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture for a license. Those interested in the retail or manufacturing of hemp products must apply to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs for a license.

U.S. Virgin Islands CBD possession limits

While there are no possession limits outlined for CBD products derived from industrial hemp, regulations are in place for the possession of products derived from medicinal cannabis.

Only patients suffering from a condition recognized by the act may access CBD products sourced from medical cannabis. These patients must hold a valid registry identification card,  have a consulting relationship with a medical practitioner who has completed an assessment of their medical history and their current medical condition, and performed an in-person physical examination.

These patients can hold up to 4 ounces, or 113 grams, of CBD sourced from medicinal cannabis. Nonresidents are allowed up to 3 ounces, or 85 grams.

Cardholders can expect to have their access to medicinal cannabis revoked if they commit unintentional or knowing violations of the act. Cardholders will also have their access to cannabis revoked if they sell cannabis to a person who is not registered to possess cannabis.

Where to buy CBD in the U.S. Virgin Islands

CBD oils, tinctures, edibles and salves derived from industrial hemp can be found at pharmacies, health food stores, yoga studios, cafes, restaurants, and online marketplaces. Medical cannabis establishments or dispensaries that sell CBD products sourced from cannabis are not allowed to sell hemp-derived CBD products.

How to read CBD labels and packaging

Most reputable CBD producers will typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:

  • Amount of active CBD per serving.
  • Supplement Fact panel identifying the other ingredients and cannabinoids present.
  • Net weight or volume
  • Manufacturer or distributor's name
  • Suggested use.
  • Batch or date code.
  • Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. 

Full-spectrum CBD oil combines CBD with cannabis-derived terpenes, a trace amount of THC, as well as lesser-known cannabinoids such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN). Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains a similar array of cannabinoids and terpenes but without the THC. Isolates are created by removing all other cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in a crystalline powder that is pure CBD. 

CBD oil and CBD-infused product labels should not make any therapeutic or medical claims.

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on June 28, 2021.