Marijuana legalization on Guam takes a new turn

It looks like 2017 is the year that marijuana legalization finally takes off — a full three years after Guam voters approved the legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

During the waning days of the 33rd Guam Legislature, senators passed Bill 343-33, which provides for the rules and regulations of the medicinal marijuana program. Gov. Eddie Calvo then allowed the bill to lapse into law.

Calvo, however, vetoed a related piece of legislation, Bill 344, which would have allowed qualified patients or caregivers to grow marijuana at home for medicinal use.


Guam Governor Outlines Marijuana Plan

Guam's Governor, Eddie Calvo, who vetoed a bill that would allow eligible residents to grow medical marijuana at home, has proposed legalising recreational marijuana, with heavy taxation.

Mr Calvo said he wants to look at how states navigated into recreational marijuana.

In a written statement he said "let's figure it out and then tax the heck out of it and use those taxes to help fund the hospital, public safety and education."

The Pacific Daily News reports, in his veto message last week for the homegrown medical marijuana bill, the governor stated concerns about the cost of regulating marijuana grown at home.


Guam Medicinal Marijuana Regulations to Be Overhauled

After months of public input highlighting concerns about the proposed rules and regulations surrounding medical marijuana, it seems legislators are willing to throw the rules out entirely and start with a clean slate.

Sen. Tina Muña-Barnes said she will be complying with a recommendation to reject the rules and will be facilitating amendments to the enabling statute, the Joaquin “KC” Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013.

Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, chairman of the legislative committee on health, stated in a release yesterday that he is recommending the rejection of the rules because they contain provisions outside of or in addition to statute.


Guam: Final Version Of Medical Marijuana Draft Rules Still Has Issues

Still, some are worried that the economics of the program are still not practical.

After almost two years at public health, the final draft of rules and regulations for medical marijuana is on its way to the legislature but even though the draft is in final form, some of the key arguments made during the first draft still remain.

The rules and regulations for medical marijuana are in final draft form. One of the key arguments against the first draft of the rules and regs was the fee structure. Some worry that the high application fee, which was lowered from $35,000 in the first draft to 5,000 in the final draft form, will make it difficult for small businesses and farmers to get licenses. That argument still remains.


Guam: What's The Holdup With Medical Marijuana Rules And Regulations?

Public Health Director James Gillan says the rules and regs hit a snag with the Economic Impact Statement.

This next November election will mark two years since the initiative to implement medical marijuana on Guam was passed and now another holdup in the much-anticipated final draft rules and regulations.


Congress OKs medical marijuana, rules under review

Acting Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, center, listens as fellow senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. present testimony on Bill 185 during session at the Guam Legislature on Tuesday, Nov. 17.(Photo: PDN file)

As the island waits for the implementation of medical marijuana the federal government has signaled it won’t pursue legal action where there are local laws in place.

The U.S. Congress passed a federal spending bill which included a provision that prohibits the Department of Justice from taking legal action against states and territories where medical marijuana is legal.

Sec. 542 of the federal spending bill prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to prevent states and territories with medical marijuana laws from implementing them.


Arizona residents disapprove of proposed medical marijuana cost

Jodi Lenz prepares medical marijuana for packaging at Mohave Green medical marijuana dispensary in Arizona.

More residents on Thursday expressed disapproval over proposed costs of license fees associated with Guam’s new medical marijuana program.

The public hearing at the Guam Legislature was the second in a three-day series of hearings concerning proposed regulations for the program. Island voters approved the use of medical marijuana in last year’s General Election.

“I can’t charge $1,000 for a red velvet cookie! That’s just unacceptable,” said Andrea Pellacani, spokeswoman for Grassroots Guam. “At these rates, how many patients would even sign up for the program?”


Guam Will Not Be Able to Import Medical Marijuana

All Medical Marijuana Will Have to Come From Marijuana That is Already On Island

Guam - Will be mirroring Arizona's medical marijuana as much as possible. Today public health officials gave a presentation on what they learned after visiting Arizona. One issue that came up is that Guam will not be able to import any marijuana for medical use which means that anyone that opens a medical marijuana grow and dispensary operation will have to get the marijuana locally from the marijuana that is already on Guam.


Marijuana team reports findings

At a Friday press conference in Mangilao, officials from Guam’s Public Health department present what they learned during a trip to Arizona and California to research medical marijuana laws. From left: Cynthia Naval, planner IV; Michelle Razo Lastimoza, environmental public health officer III; and Rosanna Rabago, environmental public health officer.(Photo: Maria Hernandez/PDN)

A three-person team from the island's public health department visited Arizona for about a month to learn more about the state's medical marijuana program, which Guam will be using as a foundation for its own program.


Guam Officials learn about medicinal marijuana from the States

Officials from the Guam Department of Public Health recently returned from Arizona and California, where they were able to gain exposure on how the mainland handles medicinal marijuana.

"When you start looking at people's needs, we'd like to get this going as soon as possible," explained James Gillan, director of Public Health. He notes efforts in moving forward with the implementation of medicinal marijuana on Guam, citing part of that effort being staff from the Division of Environmental Health get trained and learn from other states who have experience on the matter. "If you don't know really what things look like and how they work and you try to guess at it, or read about it, sometimes that works, but I think in this case you had to have hands-on," he continued.


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