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New Guam cannabis law seen as positive step

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Future cannabis business owners can now apply for cannabis business licenses from the Department of Revenue and Taxation after Gov. Eddie Calvo signed Bill 69-34 into law last week.

Public Law 34-24 allows DRT to collect fees and issue business licenses for the commercial cultivation, manufacture, laboratory testing and dispensary activities of medical cannabis, the governor’s office stated.

While it is a small development, it’s an important step toward the implementation of Guam’s medical-marijuana program, according to Grassroots Guam managing partner Andrea Pellacani.

“You can’t incorporate, enter into an agreement with consultants, or do any other infrastructural tasks essential to the development of a business without the cannabis business license,” Pellacani said. “But still, this alone doesn’t mean that you can start growing or selling cannabis.”

The cost of a business license for cultivating, manufacturing, setting up a dispensary or a testing laboratory for medical cannabis is $1,000, according to the recently passed law.

With a cannabis business license in hand, one could now theoretically acquire a permit from the Department of Public Health and Social Services, according to Pellacani.

DPHSS Director James Gillan said the agency will accept permit applications from prospective business owners, keeping in mind the non-refundable application review fees ranging from $2,000 to $15,000, depending on the purpose and size of the business and facility.

In June, Gillan told the Guam Daily Post that one of the biggest delays the department was facing was in going through the administrative adjudication process. It requires “one public meeting, a review of the standards by the Office of the Attorney General and the governor’s office, and then adoption by the Legislature.”

He added that an additional delay could come from the newly established Medical Cannabis Commission, which Gillan said wants to review the regulations DPHSS first put forward that were rejected by the 33rd Guam Legislature in Dec. 2016.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/97306-new-guam-cannabis-law-seen-as-positive-step

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