ST. JOHN, V.I. – Two new stores specializing in hemp products open at St. John in the US Virgin Islands, giving consumers access to hemp and CBD.
One customer, Paula Hachmeister, walked in at Healthy Alternatives, a recently opened hemp store in St. John, on Thursday. Hachmeister is a northern Illinois resident who is currently vacationing on the island with her husband. She was inspired to tell her story of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and being prescribed with a mediation that gave her convulsions before talking to her physician about starting using CBD.
Hachmeister enthusiastically claimed that using CBD has eliminated the previous symptoms she experienced with arthritis, such as swelling and pain. She said she went to visit the recently opened store to check out the hemp products containing CBD that has been largely used to treat various conditions such as arthritis, seizures, chronic pain, and more.
At the moment, marijuana is still illegal in the US Virgin Islands. But there is a regulation that allows selling and using hemp products throughout the territory, given that they contain the 0.3% limit of THC concentration.
Healthy Alternatives is one of the two stores offering CBD products opened on St. John in January. The shop, owned by Magabe Calixte and Charmain Vante, is located at the Chocolate Hole over the St. John Market. The other store, Virginabis, sells a wide variety of CBD-based products from edibles, lotions, and oils. The store is owned by Cynthia Swan, Teddy Waldo, and Oliver Wessehoft, and is located in Mongoose Junction.
Cynthia Swan of Virginabis said in an interview that she, along with her partners, decided to open a dispensary in the Virgin Islands when the medical cannabis patient care act passed in the V.I. Senate in January last year. However, she said that their initial plan for the shop was put on hold as the legislation for the medical marijuana implementation was put on hold as regulations continue to be established.
Meanwhile, the director of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs’ Licensing Division, Horace Graham, said during a town meeting at St. John on Wednesday that they made a new license category for stores that specializes in hemp products. They are also trying to provide an affordable licensing cost for businesses, which is currently at $260. Graham further stated that only an application fee of $50 is required for retailers who already have a business license.
One of the primary conditions for retailers selling hemp products is only to purchase their products from licensed and certified distributors. All products in stores should also feature a QR-Code that will show the source of the products and their certified THC concentration.