U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Revises Marijuana Legalization Bill To Boost Tax Revenue Amid Coronavirus

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Revises Marijuana Legalization Bill To Boost Tax Revenue Amid Coronavirus

The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands plans to send a revised marijuana legalization bill to the legislature on Tuesday, and is urging its passage to generate needed tax revenue from cannabis sales during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D), who pushed for legalization as part of his State of the Territory address in January and previously called lawmakers into a special session to take up the issue, said establishing a regulated marijuana market could help the territory’s retirement system stay afloat. “We have taken the time to gather further public input as well as address the concerns of the individual legislators,” the governor said during a COVID-19 update on Monday. “As the economic disaster, the last few weeks has created has affected the [Government Employees Retirement System] greatly it is our hope that we can have a greater sense of exigency in implementing all the things that can help us regain solvency.” While Bryan stressed that legalization “is not the panacea” to USVI’s fiscal problems, he argued that it represents an economic opportunity that could prevent the government from slashing payments for retirees. “Certainly cutting the annuity of retirees by 30 percent cannot be the path,” he said. After Bryan first proposed the policy change and directed the legislature to take up the issue in a special session late last year, several legislators voiced opposition to specifics of the proposal. Some questioned the notion that tax revenue from cannabis sales could make up for the significant deficits running…

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Source : MJ moment
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