Guam’s weed industry will finally start rolling; licensing process to open soon
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Guam will begin accepting license applications for marijuana dispensaries on Aug. 26, bringing the territory closer to the legal commercialization of weed.
The Cannabis Control Board announced today that the rules and regulations governing the cannabis businesses on Guam came into effect on May 30.
The Guam Cannabis Industry Act mandates the board to begin processing commercial cannabis license applications “no later than 90 days after the regulations become effective.”
“In order to start accepting and processing applications by the Aug. 26 deadline, the board has asked the primary regulatory agencies represented on the board to present an implementation plan by their next meeting,” the board said.
The next board meeting is scheduled for July 11.
The Guam Cannabis Industry Act, which was signed into law in April 2019, legalized recreational marijuana and laid the foundation for establishing a regulated industry on Guam.
In 2014, Guam voters approved the medical use of marijuana but the program is hampered by the lack of a testing lab.
Guam was the first U.S. territory to pass a law that legalized marijuana for recreational use but the CNMI was the first to build a commercial marijuana industry. The CNMI issued its first marijuana business license in March 2021.
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An economic impact study projected that the recreational cannabis industry on Guam -- which targets tourists -- will generate $11.5 million in additional revenue.
The study released by the Guam Visitors Bureau in December 2020 estimated that the new industry will draw 31,500 new visitors to the island and create 734 additional jobs.
In her state of the island address delivered in March 2021, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero asked the Guam Legislature to appropriate the first $50 million in proceeds from the legal sale of cannabis for the rehabilitation of Tumon roads and sewage systems and improvement of the island’s attraction sites.
The rules and regulations cover cannabis consumption, growth and cultivation rules; issuance of licenses for manufacturing, cultivation, retail sites; and built-in protections for consumers and property owners.