The Commonwealth Cannabis Commission would be meeting with several government agencies as they move beyond the halfway mark on writing the rules that will govern the CNMI’s emerging cannabis industry.
Reconvening next week, Cannabis Commission chair Nadine Deleon Guerrero told Saipan Tribune last Monday that the commission would be meeting with at least 10 government agencies to discuss the commercial aspect of the cannabis regulations.
Among the agencies the commission would be meeting with are the Marianas Visitors Authority, Commonwealth Utilities Corp., Department of Commerce, the Division of Alcohol, Beverage, and Tobacco Control, Department of Public Safety, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, and the Division of Customs, among others.
“Depending on the appropriateness of where we are currently at with the regulations, we are divvying up the work in terms of meeting with the different agencies to come back and reconvene for a session next week,” she told Saipan Tribune.
Also on the commission’s list is the Public School System and Deleon Guerrero said it is only one of a handful of other agencies that they would meet in the future.
“There are about 10 agencies that we named. …What we are trying to do is align the agencies that we are working with to where we are with the regulations,” she said. “…We are closer to getting into [these agencies’] jurisdictions, so until we discuss that portion of the regulations with the appropriate agencies, we won’t be meeting with them [yet].”
The Cannabis Commission has a deadline of March 11, 2019, to complete the regulations, exactly 180 days after the creation of the commission on Sept. 12, 2019. When asked, Deleon Guerrero noted that she is confident in the commission’s ability to meet that deadline, but a bit shaky when it comes to some needs for medicinal regulations.
“I know for sure the homegrown and the commercial [will be completed before the deadline]. The medicinal, we are discussing back and forth what the possibilities are because the problem is the laboratory [for testing concentrations],” she said, adding that while it was not a mandate to have a laboratory set up in the CNMI, she noted that the commission believes a lab must exist for testing.
“In terms of the regulations, if it were to be rolled out without the lab, then yes, it would meet the deadline,” she added.