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Cannabis board breaking the law; fails to meet statutory deadline

By Troy Torres

The Cannabis Control Board had one job: institute rules by April 4, 2020, so that cannabis business permits could be processed no later than this past July 4.

They failed.

A set of deadlines were set into motion, when Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed the Guam Cannabis Industry Act of 2019 into law on April 4, 2019. The first among them was a one-year deadline for the Cannabis Control Board to promulgate the rules and forms that allow cannabis businesses to be licensed.

"No later than one (1) year after the effective date of this Act, the Cannabis Control Board shall prescribe forms and adopt such rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this Chapter in accordance with Chapter 9 of Title 5, Guam Code Annotated." - Guam Cannabis Industry Act of 2019

The majority of the board was selected by Ms. Leon Guerrero just days after the enactment of the statute, including its chairman Vanessa Williams.

Conveniently, at the start of the public health crisis in mid-March - 11 months into its one-year deadline period - the rules were not ready and a supposedly-planned April meeting would be postponed.

The board met last week, where members revealed no such rules would be ready for months, further delaying the start of the legal cannabis industry on island.

The board is breaking the law.

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