A public meeting that was set to take place online Thursday has been postponed because the V.I. Cannabis Advisory Board is still working to finalize proposed rules and regulations for medical marijuana.

The virtual town hall to introduce the proposed Medicinal Cannabis Rules and Regulations is being postponed until December, the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs announced Tuesday on behalf of the board. According to the news release, “a new date and time will be announced in the upcoming weeks.”

In response to questions from The Daily News, DLCA Commissioner Richard Evangelista issued an additional statement from board chair Catherine Kean.

“The Cannabis Advisory Board (CAB) recently sent the revised rules and regulations to outside legal counsel for their review, which has taken longer than CAB anticipated. Upon receiving the document, CAB will hold a board meeting at which time board members will vet and vote to publish the updated rules and regulations,” according to the prepared statement.

“CAB has postponed the Rules and Regulations Town Hall meeting so that the community has adequate time to review the Rules and Regulations document in full. CAB feels that this postponement ensures that the Town Hall will be a productive and responsive meeting,” the statement concluded.

In a 2014 referendum, 56% of Virgin Islands voters favored legalization, and the Legislature passed a medical cannabis bill in 2018.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed the bill into law in 2019, but the V.I. Cannabis Advisory Board didn’t hold its first public meeting until a year later, in January 2020, and implementation of the law has been repeatedly delayed.

Cannabis board members traveled with Bryan and a dozen senators to Denver in October for the V.I. Legislative Cannabis Summit, hosted by the National Conference of State Legislators.

The delegation met with cannabis industry professionals and attended presentations that focused on regulatory structure, banking, taxation, and the economic impact of the cannabis industry.

“It’s one thing to move the legislation forward, but it’s another thing for us to really move forward with implementing, which is going to require heavy lift,” Sen. Donna Frett-Gregory said at the time.

— Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email scarlson@dailynews.vi.