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Guam Delays Adult-Use Cannabis Rules

May 5, 2020

According to reports from state media outlets, the Governor of Guam Lou Leon Guerrero has declared a national emergency and has suspended all non-essential government meetings and activities on the island. This national emergency according to reports suspends all activities on the island that are deemed non-essential. This suspension of government meetings will delay the drafting of regulations for adult-use cannabis sales on the island. 

The Cannabis Industry Act 

In 2019, Governor Guerrero signed the Cannabis Industry Act into law. This act legalized adult-use cannabis for individuals that are 21 years and above.

This new law granted the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) the state’s regulatory body one (1) year to establish a transparent framework to license dispensaries and commence the sale of legal cannabis in the state. 

No Regulations Yet 

This one year mark according to reports elapsed the first week of April 2020. However, no regulations have been issued by the Cannabis Control Board as of yet. Sen. Clynt Ridgell, who sponsored the legalization bill, explained that, “At this time, I believe lawmaking should be focused solely on legislation that can help with the COVID-19 crisis by getting money into the pockets of families that need it.”

The Governor’s order to suspend all non-essential government meetings and activities until May 6, 2020, has kept the cannabis regulatory body from drafting regulatory guidelines or issuing licenses to applicants. While several talks have been held by the cannabis regulatory body to meet the deadline, none have been enough to produce a regulatory framework for the island. 

Adult-Use Cannabis in Other Jurisdictions

With the regulation of recreational or adult-use cannabis currently on hold now, Guam is currently the only jurisdiction facing this delay in regulating adult-use cannabis. 

In Mexico for example, lawmakers have asked for an extended period to enable them to draft and regulate recreational, medical, and industrial cannabis use. Maine, on the other hand, announced last week that its cannabis market launch has been postponed indefinitely due to the CoronaVirus pandemic.