It’s still unknown whether President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden will win the 2020 race for the US presidency.
But according to Gizmodo, one clear winner has emerged in another fight: the drug legalization movement.
In both red and blue cities and states, people voted to legalize or decriminalize cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms, and, in Oregon, all illicit drugs entirely.
New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana all passed ballot measures to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
Voting to legalize cannabis and other drugs appeared to have nothing to do with whether a state voted for Trump or Biden–or its governor’s party.
and GOP governors of Arizona and South Dakota discouraged residents from voting to legalize cannabis.
It didn’t work.
The Cannabis Control Board is discussing, and possibly changing, some of the proposed rules and regulations for the recreational cannabis industry, based on the testimony it received during public hearings in November.
The goal during Monday’s board meeting is to start discussing the rules related to cultivation, retail stores, and enforcement and penalties, according to Chairwoman Vanessa Williams, who said more complex issues, such as licensing, will require further deliberation at other board meetings.
The Department of Revenue and Taxation continues to research some of the issues related to taxation, banking and licensing of the cannabis industry.
The cannabis board isn’t required to hold further public hearings, even if it changes the rules and regulations.
Guam Visitors Bureau: Cannabis in Tumon could cost Guam $486M in lost tourism
Cultivation leader Pat Cane, left, and technician Chris Kirkwood, work in a greenhouse at the TerrAscend marijuana farm in Boonton Township, New Jersey, in this Nov. 5 file photo. The Cannabis Control Board on Monday plans to discuss, and possibly change, some of the proposed rules and regulations for the recreational cannabis industry on Guam. (Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com)
Much of the oral testimony during the public hearings was related to growing requirements, such as the types of allowable fertilizers and whether to prohibit residents from owning more than one type of cannabis business. As currently written, people can own only one type of cannabis business: cultivation, manufacturing or retail.
Tourism business organizations have argued against allowing cannabis to be sold in Tumon or advertised to tourists.
Recreational cannabis has been legal on Guam since April 2019. Adults 21 years and older can legally consume it in private, possess it in public and grow it at home, with limits on the number of plants that can be grown at the same time. But selling it or trading it for anything of value remains illegal until the rules and regulations are in place and until the government’s seed-to-sale tracking system is operating.
The public hearings are a legal requirement before the rules and regulations can be adopted.
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.
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