The CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018 may cast a shadow on the CNMI’s squeaky-clean image as a family destination, according to Marianas Visitors Authority board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce.
She pointed out that marijuana is still considered an illicit drug in many of the CNMI’s source markets.
She said that MVA is still awaiting the promulgation of regulations of the Cannabis Act. “Meanwhile, as an agency, we do not anticipate undertaking any marketing strategies that may contradict or harm our image in those critical markets,” she added.
Once regulations are promulgated, people will be allowed to use marijuana for medical and recreational use in the CNMI.
However, Aldan-Pierce said, since marijuana is still illegal federally, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has advised that any visitor who tells USCBP that they are entering the Marianas to use marijuana will be banned re-entry.
Aldan-Pierce said they don’t have a position about the marijuana law because they have not really discussed the matter with the board.
“It’s here but I don’t think regulations have been done,” said Aldan-Pierce, adding that until such time that they really know what the regulations are going to say, the board has not yet discussed it.
She said that Canada has legalized marijuana but the governments of Japan and China have cautioned their people about it.
Public Law 20-66, enacted into law by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres last Sept. 21, legalizes and controls marijuana use in the CNMI.