Two years since the enactment of recreational pot law, Guam is still laboring over draft rules

Updated: Oct 4

By Louella Losinio

An economic impact study projected that the recreational cannabis industry on Guam will generate $11.5 million in additional revenue from tourists. Released by the Guam Visitors Bureau in December last year, the study 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, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero asked the Guam Legislature to appropriate the first $50 million in proceeds from the legal sale of cannabis for repair of Tumon roads and sewage systems and improvement of the island’s attraction sites.

But Guam leaders are counting the chicks before the eggs hatch.

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. After two years, the document finally reached the desk of the attorney general, who is going through another review process.

Guam’s steady but slow progress in developing its recreational cannabis rules and regulations drew comparisons with the Northern Marianas, where the cannabis industry is now in existence.

The CNMI Cannabis Commission officially adopted its rules and regulations in June 2020 and opened applications for commercial cannabis licenses and a homegrown noncommercial registry a few months later.

In March this year, the CNMI Cannabis Commission issued its first commercial license to Slider Marianas LLC. The commercial license allows for the legal planting, cultivation, growth, harvesting, drying and sale of cannabis to licensed wholesalers, processors, retailers, lounges, laboratories, and research certificate holders in the CNMI.

The Guam Cannabis Industry Act also mandated the creation of the Cannabis Control Board to officially start the drafting of the rules and regulations for personal consumption and the commercial sale of cannabis.