The Pacific Daily News reports….
The Cannabis Control Board plans to hold a working session during the next several days to discuss fines that should be imposed for violating recreational marijuana rules and regulations.
The board met Thursday afternoon for a final review of the proposed rules and regulations, but commission member Dafne Shimizu, director of the Department of Revenue and Taxation, pointed out the board never included civil penalties — fines — in the proposal.
She said penalties were mentioned early in the drafting process but never were revisited.
Shimizu said it is difficult to enforce rules and regulations if they have no “teeth” in the form of monetary penalties.
Board member Adrian Cruz, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture, said violators could have their licenses revoked by the government, but he acknowledged the need for fines as well.
Lawmakers last year passed the “Guam Cannabis Industry Act of 2019,” which Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed into law on April 4, 2019. Adults can possess, grow and consume recreational cannabis, but selling it or trading it for anything of value remains illegal until rules and regulations are written and implemented for the new industry.
In addition to the rules, the government must have a seed-to-sale tracking system in place before marijuana businesses can start operating.
Steps to be taken
Chairwoman Vanessa Williams said the rules and regulations, when completed by the board, still need to be submitted to the governor’s budget office for a cost impact report, to the attorney general’s office for legal review, and also to the compiler of laws, to determine where the rules and regulations should be added to Guam law.
The rules and regulations will provide operating and eligibility requirements for growers, manufacturers and retailers. Each of those types of operations must have a licensed person in charge who can be held accountable.
The board also is required to hold a public hearing on the rules and regulations before they can be adopted. The proposal, which hasn’t been made public, must be available for public review at least 10 days before that hearing, which hasn’t been scheduled.
The process of adopting rules and regulations was supposed to be completed in early April, as stated in Guam law, but has been delayed after the governor declared a public health emergency in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shutting down most government operations. The cannabis board didn’t meet for several months.
The board is tentatively scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Aug. 6 to again review the proposal.