Slowly but steadily, Guam’s recently established recreational marijuana industry is taking shape. Guam’s Cannabis Control Board has approved 11 “responsible officials,” or government-designated corporate leaders who must be in place before a company can acquire a recreational license, as officials anticipate requests for cannabis business licenses.
According to the Pacific Daily News, the board recently approved Trisha Blas as a responsible official for an ambitious cannabis manufacturing plant named Guahannabis LLC. The board also authorized Eugene Arriola’s responsible official application for The Heights Farm, which aims to grow cannabis in a location with a maximum of 2,500 square feet of canopy space.
The Department of Revenue and Taxation also affirmed that a third prospective responsible official application, filed by Wang-Chieh “Ronald” Su for the “Herbal World” cannabis retail outlet, has been withdrawn by Su, who expects to resubmit it once a cannabis testing facility is operational,
According to the news site, nine relevant officials had previously been approved and have been told of the following procedures to apply for cannabis establishment licenses. However, no one has yet filed for a permit.
“They have it, they’re focusing on their paperwork,” Craig Camacho, compliance supervisor for the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation, informed the Pacific Daily News.
Last year, Jeff Wells, CEO of Metrc, the seed-to-sale monitoring system used by Guam, stated that the firm was “eager to take on the challenge O this new regulatory opportunity.” “Metrc is happy to cooperate with the Department of Public Health and Social Services as Guam establishes its medical cannabis industry. Merc is excited to collaborate with licensed business owners and regulators to launch the island’s first regulated track-and-trace program. “We are happy to take the lead in safeguarding the security and safety of the nation’s legal cannabis industry,” Wells said at the time.
More Hands On Deck
According to Pacific Daily News, Guam’s Cannabis Control Board approved two additional “responsible officials” on Monday. Nine other people who received the designation already had the regulator’s approval. Those persons were briefed on the next procedures at a Nov. 17 conference. They were handed the application paperwork required to establish a cannabis establishment.
A compliance supervisor for the Department of Revenue and Taxation, Craig Camacho, was quoted by Pacific Daily News. He affirmed to the Cannabis Control Board that the responsible officials have their applications and they’re preparing their paperwork. However, they have yet to file their application to the office for consideration or review.
Lou Leon Guerrero, Guam’s governor, announced late last year that the state had “signed a deal with Metrc. Metrc is a proven provider of cannabis regulatory systems within the United States.” “Over the last decade, there has been significant evidence that marijuana offers therapeutic benefits.
According to Guerrero, the final evaluation of the laws and regulations for the cannabis industry by the state’s Cannabis Control Board will ensure proper control of recreational cannabis use and promote safe and regulated cannabis products. Guerrero also added that the cannabis industry will assist their community. The sector will fund other public health and safety services and offer alternative rehabilitation and treatment to those in need.
According to Guam lieutenant governor Josh Tenorio, “being an island territory and tourism hub, Guam’s cannabis sector confronts unique obstacles in terms of regulation and control.” “We are excited about this historic collaboration between Metrc and DPHSS. The collaboration will help the government in implementing the secure and responsible deployment of our cannabis business on Guam, and providing us with the tools we need to assure our success,” Tenorio stated.
Cannabis Legalization In Guam
Cannabis was initially introduced in Guam in the Vietnam War when US military personnel were stationed on the island. However, until the end of 2014, the Joaquin (KC) Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013 legislated medicinal cannabis in Guam.
Subsequently, Guam legalized recreational cannabis use in 2019 by enacting the Guam Cannabis Industries Act. The Guam Cannabis Industry Act was signed into law by Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. This historic feat legalized the use, possession, and home cultivation of recreational marijuana in the state.
A cannabis patient may now possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis without a doctor’s prescription. Furthermore, anyone above 21 can cultivate up to 6 plants or possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis for personal use (3 immature and 3 mature). According to NORML, the law legalizes the personal use and possession of cannabis by adults. It also imposes laws regulating the plant’s production process and retail sales.
The law allows those at least 21 years old to transfer and possess up to an ounce of cannabis flower or 8g of concentrated marijuana. The law also allows individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants (maximum of three mature plants) in a “locked, enclosed room” for personal use.
“However, public use of cannabis will continue to be illegal,” NORML stated after the measure was adopted. “The Act establishes a new regulatory board to develop rules governing the plant’s commercialisation and retail sale. The committee has a one-year deadline to develop the guidelines that will permit the operations of licensed cannabis enterprises.”
Guam’s cannabis industry has taken longer than expected to take off. Despite noticeable progress in Guam’s cannabis industry, logistical and political obstacles have resulted in the island having no licensed and functioning medical cannabis businesses. This is partly because it took long for the state to choose a provider for a track-and-trace license and sales system. But with these problems already fixed, it now appears that a robust cannabis sector is only around the corner.
Suppose you’re one of the numerous cannabis-minded entrepreneurs looking to join on the ground floor of Guam’s growing cannabis market. In that case, there’s a lot to do. But first, you will need to carefully navigate Guam’s new and untested cannabis legislation and standards to ensure the success of your new cannabis venture!