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Guam: Medical Marijuana Rules And Regulations One More Step To Approval

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., D-Dededo, hopes to have rules and regulations for medical marijuana approved by December after introducing a bill to approve them.

Rodriguez announced Bill 210-34 Monday afternoon after receiving the updated rules and regulations from the Department of Public Health and Social Services last Thursday.

The island's voters approved the medical cannabis program more than three years ago and there has been frustration on the lengthy delay to get it started.

Rodriguez acknowledged that the wait time for the program has been long and he's hoping to get a public hearing on the bill as soon as possible as well as mark up sessions.

He's also looking at calling a special session in December to get the more than 150 pages of rules and regulations finally approved.

By introducing a bill to approve the rules and regulations, it avoids the lengthy triple adjudication process, he said.

The rules and regulations will still go through a public hearing process where residents can voice their concerns and suggest changes, he said.

The news comes after a local medical marijuana advocacy group said last week they would hold a public wave to urge local leaders to get the program fully implemented.

Grassroots Guam is joining with Live Life Alive, another medical marijuana advocacy group, to hold a public wave Friday to remind local leaders of the people's pleas to implement P.L. 33-220, also known as the Joaquin "KC" Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013.

Rodriguez said if the bill passes in December the program could be finally up and running by mid part of next year.

"Our people have waited too long," he said.

He said the rules and regulations provides guidance for a lab that would test medical cannabis, something that Public Health has said is a barrier to getting the program started.

Public Health is tasked with licensing a medical cannabis testing laboratory, but Director James Gillan has said there has been no serious interest in creating such an establishment.

And Gillan's said it may be due to the fact that the regulations for the lab have yet to be promulgated.

"It's one of the biggest roadblocks today. Once we get through this, that's the first step in moving this forward," Rodriguez said.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services had to scrap its proposed rules for the program, modeled after Arizona's program, because local lawmakers did not support it. Since then, the program has yet to be operational.

Rodriguez said the program is unique because it was voted for by the people of Guam and he wants to ensure the Legislature follows through.

Rodriguez has met people in the community who need the program and says it motivates him to work hard.

"I feel for them," he said.


News Moderator: Ron Strider 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Medical marijuana rules and regulations one more step to approval
Author: Jerick Sablan
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