Bill to legalize marijuana remains in limbo

It’s been roughly six months since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made national headlines when he told reporters that the Justice Department would adopt “responsible policies” to enforce the federal government’s prohibition on pot.

Sessions’ statement, coupled with similar comments from the White House, signaled a sweeping crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. In the months since, however, no official action has been taken.

Threats of the potential crackdown prompted Gov. Eddie Calvo and his administration to step back from Calvo's own proposed bill, to legalize the drug for recreation use by adults.


Guam Medicinal Marijuana Bill Signed into Law

Efforts to help businesses get established so they could ultimately sell marijuana for medical purposes took a step forward with the signing of a new law.

Bill 69-34, which became Public Law 34-24, is another effort toward allowing Guam's medical marijuana program to be implemented by providing the Department of Revenue and Taxation with provisions to issue business licenses for medical marijuana cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries and laboratory testing services. It passed the legislature unanimously.


Slow start for medicinal marijuana in Guam

Voted by the people in 2013, still so many obstacles ahead in rolling out the medical marijuana initiative that's intended to help those suffering from cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few.

No rules and regulations. No lab. And no tracking system. "Bluntly" speaking, Guam is far from implementing medicinal marijuana.

"It isn't as easy as you think it was going to be, because we have to make sure it's safe," stated Dr. Suzanne Kaneshiro, chief public health officer for the Medicinal Marijuana Commission. "We have to make sure the product is safe before people can use it - we would like them to use it but we want it safe." And this is where the commission comes in.


Guam's non-existent medical marijuana program: a patient's perspective

It’s been three years since Guam residents voted in favor of a medical marijuana program, and the island is still without a cannabis commission. And while GovGuam drags its feet, people with treatable illnesses, like 24-year-old Isha Gabriel, continue to suffer without a natural alternative to prescription medication.

In 2013, Gabriel began showing symptoms of multiple sclerosis, or MS, and was officially diagnosed the following year. MS is an unpredictable and often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body, according to the National MS Society. It is currently incurable.


Guam: Cannabis Bill on Pause

Much like its conditional opposition of the military buildup, Adelup says a Federal about-face has caused them to re-think moving forward with allowing residents 21 or older to possess and grow marijuana.

Although the Calvo Administration cannot say how long it will pause its support for the Governor’s own adult-use cannabis bill, officials are planning for eventual outcomes from announced crackdowns of recreational programs from President Donald Trump. 

Much like its conditional opposition of the military buildup, Adelup says a Federal about-face has caused them to re-think moving forward with allowing residents 21 or older to possess and grow marijuana.


Guam: DRT marijuana licensing bill to move forward this week

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. 


Guam Visitors Bureau to research tourism-related medical marijuana

The Guam Visitors Bureau leadership wants to get more information before it takes a stance on a newly revived proposal to allow medical marijuana tourists into Guam.

GVB President and CEO Nathan Denight said the GVB board had requested for more information on the possible new market before throwing support for or against the idea.

GVB is in the process of putting together research findings, discussing the medical tourism venture with its off-island market offices, and gauging interests in those markets before engaging in the conversation, Denight said.


Guam: Cannabis workshop educates on new program, future potential

After passage of Public Law 33-220, which officially implemented regulations for the island's medical marijuana program, Grassroots Guam hosted a second Medical Cannabis Patient Workshop last Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Guam.

According to Andrea Pellacani, managing partner of Grassroots Guam, the workshop’s goal was to further educate patients on various topics, including the possible legalization of recreational marijuana, the implementation of the current medical cannabis program, patient responsibilities and rights, cannabis biology and conditional treatment, and how to register into the program.


Guam's Medical Cannabis License Applications Now Available

People interested in the medical marijuana business started applying for licenses on Wednesday at the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

Patients could have access to medical marijuana by this summer, according to the department.

Director James Gillan said there were 40 applicants as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Public Law 33-220, which became law Dec. 17, 2016, implements the rules and regulations for the medical marijuana program first approved by voters in the November 2014 General Election.

The law states Public Health shall accept applications for proposed medical cannabis business licenses within 30 days of the bill becoming law.


Guam: Recreational Marijuana Bill Wrapping Up

Gov. Eddie Calvo is preparing to submit legislation related to the use of recreational marijuana within the month, according to his senior advisor, Troy Torres. Legislation may appear as early as next week.

Calvo began discussing the legalizing of recreational marijuana in late December 2016 around the time he vetoed Bill 344-33, a measure that would have allowed for home cultivation of medical marijuana. At that time, the governor cited concerns with additional cost and oversight the measure would have created.


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