Slow start for medicinal marijuana in Guam

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Voted by the people in 2013, still so many obstacles ahead in rolling out the medical marijuana initiative that’s intended to help those suffering from cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few.

No rules and regulations. No lab. And no tracking system. “Bluntly” speaking, Guam is far from implementing medicinal marijuana.

“It isn’t as easy as you think it was going to be, because we have to make sure it’s safe,” stated Dr. Suzanne Kaneshiro, chief public health officer for the Medicinal Marijuana Commission. “We have to make sure the product is safe before people can use it – we would like them to use it but we want it safe.” And this is where the commission comes in.

They held their first meeting on Monday, after reaching a quorum of six members, which included Dr. Kaneshiro. The consensus today: Put out a Request for Information for a tracking system – a means to control the product from start to finish. She said, “We’re still looking for a tracking system for the marijuana product, so we need to track it from the time it’s grown to the time its dispensed. So you follow it.”

Another issue is quality assurance. As of today, no one has expressed interest in opening a lab to test the products.

“The lab has to test the product in every stage. So a cultivator has to have their product tested by the lab. 0428 The manufacturer has to get it tested by the lab. Then the dispensary also has to get tested 0438 so you can’t grow it and then go out to a manufacturer without testing it first,” said Kaneshiro.

Already up in smoke – 150 pages worth of rules and regulations drafted by the Department of Public Health. Kaneshiro said, “What happened was that the department was working on the rules and regulations. It took over a year to do it. So when they gave it to the legislature it was rejected, so they had to start all over again with the rules and regulations.”

Legislative Committee on Health and Human Services Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. sits on the commission. He remains optimistic on the implementation of medicinal marijuana in Guam, stating that “with the guidance of this commission, those in need of it will have access sooner rather than later.”

We should note, marijuana is still illegal in Guam and remains a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act. If you would like more information on medicinal marijuana, call 735-7297.

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Source: 420Intel – Medical Cannabis

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