Last week we noted in a small report that tourism authorities in Guam were doing their best to curtail legal recreational cannabis in the territory. It’s interesting to not the public testimonies below all of which concern the practicalities of running a program and not the concerns of one industry sector fearing loss of Chinese and Korean tourist sectors. Although we’d imagine young Koreans would flood the islands in order to find a peaceful place to smoke cannabis considering the demonization of the plant in their home country
Pacific DailyNews reports
Here is a summary of the written testimony received by the Cannabis Board, as provided to the Pacific Daily News:
- Greenland Farms: Asked how the cannabis industry “expects to get off the ground without the full support of the banking industry.” Asked if the gross receipts tax would apply to cultivators and whether any other taxes would apply to the industry.
- Grassroots Guam: Weighed in on many sections of the rules and regulations. There needs to be a better understanding of how tax laws apply to each level of the cannabis industry. Asked the board to state the reason for its decision to prohibit ownership of more than one type of cannabis business so stakeholders can properly defend their positions on the matter. Asked why some of the licensing fees exceed the $5,000 stated in Guam law. Recommended that the board establish potency limits for manufactured cannabis products.
- August Fest (Guam Legal Bud): Asked for vertical integration, which means allowing people to own more than one type of cannabis business. Eliminate the requirement that businesses be at least 51% owned by a local resident. Waive the gross receipts tax on cannabis businesses and lower the licensing and permit fees — no more than the $5,000 stated in law.
- Anthony B. Cruz (Cannabis Guam): On-site consumption of cannabis products should be allowed, including at bars, restaurants and specialty shops. Argued against vertical integration, stating a cultivator could set a low price for cannabis in order to pay less in government taxes. Stated butane extraction should be prohibited.
- Catherine Castro (Guam Chamber of Commerce): Recommended that public consumption of cannabis be prohibited in Tumon and in hotel-zoned areas, and at bars, restaurants and rooms rented to guests. Said cannabis advertising should be prohibited in Tumon and that a separate cannabis district be developed away from tourism businesses.
- Daniel Franquez, Barrigada: Concerned cannabis might be illegally used and abused by children. Concerned that edible cannabis products, which are more concentrated, likely will be packaged to appeal to children.
- David Wiita: All cannabis products with THC levels of 0.3% or more should be grown and manufactured on Guam to prevent the industry from “getting overwhelmed by large amounts of inexpensive products being imported from the mainland. U.S.” All cannabis products, including edibles, should be manufactured using cannabis grown on Guam. Multiple licenses should be prohibited and cultivators should be allowed to use synthetic fertilizers. Cannabis delivery services should be allowed.
- Donovan Brooks: More residents have started to grow their own cannabis and are unlikely to buy it commercially. Fees should be low and can be increased if the industry is thriving. A seed-to-sale tracking system is pointless and unnecessary and is intended for states with millions of residents, not Guam. Laboratory testing of cannabis flower also is unnecessary. The rules and regulations should be consistent with the fact that cannabis now is legal. “Cannabis should be treated like milk, or beer. I’m kidding, but I’m not joking.”
- George Chiu (Chinese Chamber of Commerce): Opposes allowing cannabis smoking in public places. Smoking cannabis should not be allowed in hotel rooms. Cannabis should not be sold in Tumon or marketed to tourists.
- Satoru Murata (Japan Guam Travel Association): No smoking cannabis in public or in hotel rooms. No marijuana in Tumon, and it should not be advertised to tourists. It is important to separate cannabis from students on field trips and family travelers with children.
- Hugh Giordano, UFCW Local 480: Suggested Guam adopt specific rules to protect cannabis industry workers.
- James Martinez (Guam Contractors Association): Opposes smoking cannabis in public places, selling it to tourists or advertising it to bring tourists here.
- Josephine Mariana (Bank of Guam): A significant obstacle to cannabis banking activity is whether Rev and Tax can provide readily accessible and reliable real-time information so banks can comply with federal laws, rules and regulations. The rules do not address this concern.
- Marcus Cepeda (Manja Nirvana): There should be a license for smoke cafes and parks. Questioned why cannabis-infused lollipops and gummy worms should be restricted if they are properly labeled.
- Mark Baldyga (Baldyga Group): Promoting the sale and use of cannabis within Tumon will damage the tourism industry, as most visitors are part of young families. “No one wants to have their young children checking into a room that reeks of pot.”
- Terry Chung (Korea Guam Travel Association): No smoking cannabis in public or hotel rooms. It should not be sold in Tumon or advertised to tourists.
- Monte Handley (APAC Grow Company): Asked how the black market will be controlled and what happens if no one opens a testing lab. Had questions about the number of licenses that can be issued. Process of applying for a license is confusing. Said diagrams should be created to make the process more clear.
- PacificRoots LLC: Said people should be allowed to own more than one type of cannabis business.
- Patrick Loo (UFCW 480): Said labor peace agreements should be added to the rules and regulations in order to put workers first.
- Robyn Scheuffle, Agat: Opposes cannabis other than for medicinal purposes. “Pot stinks. … If you smell it, you are inhaling it.”
- Sho Hammond: Smaller growers and manufacturers should be allowed to vertically integrate. Synthetic nutrients do not pose a health risk to the end user and it is unfair to prohibit their use in the cannabis industry. A license should be created to allow for “sub-micro” growers at home. The entry requirements currently are too high for smaller craft cultivators.
- Sibyl Crisostomo: Opposes legalized cannabis.
- Taijin Baik: Asked if cannabis retailers can sell non-cannabis products. Asked if cannabis cultivators are allowed to extract cannabis. Asked to clarify the definition of “stakeholder” in a cannabis business. Rules do not provide a legal framework for purchasing seeds and tissue cultures. Asked if all types of cannabis businesses must comply with costly security measures.