Guam: DRT marijuana licensing bill to move forward this week

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A new piece of legislation from Sen. Joe San Agustin may allow Guam's medical marijuana law to make some headway in its implementation. The freshman senator plans to introduce legislation this week that will amend the medical marijuana law with regulations on the issuance of business licenses for manufacturers and cultivators at the Department of Revenue and Taxation. Licenses are outlined in the amended medical marijuana law, which describes the Department of Public Health and Social Services' role. In addition, Rev and Tax also must establish its own procedures for medical marijuana business licenses, according to past statements from San Agustin. 

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The testing lab and dispensary will not have to pay for business licenses. According to San Agustin, this is because neither the lab nor dispensary is in the current Rev and Tax fee model. These licenses are also already in the medical marijuana law but the exact language on how these facilities will relate to Rev and Tax can still be modified with subsequent public hearings, the senator added.

The business license fees for manufacturers and cultivators are both set at $1,000.

"We want to get this off the ground," San Agustin said.

Languishing law

Guam's medical marijuana law has been languishing for years. The Joaquin “KC” Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013 was enacted in 2014 after a voter referendum, but complications with developing rules and regulations stalled the implementation.

An amended version of the law, with regulations, was enacted at the tail end of 2016. While Public Health had begun the process of distributing license applications, some issues remained, such as the lack of licensing procedures for Rev and Tax.

As part of his initiative to have the license procedures developed and fees established at Rev and Tax, San Agustin said he would also be looking at all licensing fees within the department to determine if they needed updating. Some of these fees were years old, he stated. Naturally, as a result of updating fees, some prices may increase.

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