Saipan-- The CNMI Cannabis Commission has issued out the first batch of homegrown marijuana registry cards that would allow qualified individuals to cultivate marijuana in their homes for non-commercial purpose.
“We recognize that for years the local legalization of cannabis has been a long sought out goal for individuals in the Commonwealth. With the signing of the Cannabis Act and the establishment of the Commission, this goal became a reality,” said Monique Sablan, managing director of the CNMI Cannabis Commission.
The registry cards were issued to individuals whose applications have fulfilled the necessary requirements and are in compliance with the Cannabis Act and Commission rules and regulations.
. “Seeing individuals take the initiative to embrace this newly instated privilege while also accepting its prohibitions will drive the overall success and safety of this industry,” Sablan said.
Sabla said cardholders will be authorized to grow marijuana as long as they remain in compliance with the laws and regulations that established this privilege. "
It’s an accomplishment to see individuals actively applying for this opportunity lawfully,” Sablan said. “The Commission looks forward to seeing more applications and is ready to answer any pending questions in regards to applying for the registry.”
Since the opening of the registry on Aug. 4, individuals within the Commonwealth who are 21 years of age and older are mandated by law to register under the Homegrown Marijuana Registry and obtain a registry card in order to legally produce, process, keep, or store homegrown marijuana at a household or cultivation site for non-commercial purposes.
The commission encourages eligible applicants who are interested or have been engaging in the cultivation of marijuana for non-commercial purposes to register. The application fee is $75 per person and applicants must pay the fee prior to submitting the application.
Registrants whose application has met all the necessary compliance requirements set forth in the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations will be issued a homegrown marijuana registry card, which shall be renewable annually. By law, all records of each homegrown marijuana registrant will be strictly confidential and the Commission is taking the necessary steps to ensure overall confidentiality.
The Commission has partnered with local law enforcement agencies DPS, Customs, and ABTC to establish the Cannabis Task Force, which will aid in the enforcement of the Cannabis Act and regulations. As mandated in CNMI Public Law 20-66 and as amended in Public Law 21-05, individuals found in violation of the Cannabis Act may be punishable by civil or criminal penalties such as fines, seizure of marijuana items, or imprisonment.