Zoning approves company’s application to operate 2 marijuana retail stores, 2 lounges in Garapan
The Commonwealth Zoning Board has approved a company’s proposal to renovate and occupy two buildings in Garapan, including the former GIG Discotheque, for its cannabis or marijuana retail shops and lounges.
During a Zoning board public hearing held at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan’s Charley’s Cabaret Tuesday night, board chair Tatiana Babauta, treasurer Perry A. Inos Jr., and members Joe E. Ayuyu Jr. and Kevin Guerrero voted in favor of Tuu Group LLC’s conditional use applications.
Vice chair Francisco Aguon was excused from the hearing. No one from the public opposed the applications.
Guerrero said this industry requires a huge financial risk as it’s a new industry. “I am very grateful, and I am sure the community as well, to Tuu Group for taking such an interest and taking the lead,” said Guerrero before he voted to approve the application.
Tuu Group, represented by lawyer Joaquin DLG Torres, proposes to renovate and occupy the second floor of the former GIG Discotheque for its cannabis retail store.
GIG Discotheque used to be a bar and disco. The building is shaped like a giant Egyptian pyramid with two large sphinxes guarding the main entrance.
Tuu Group also proposes to renovate and occupy the first floor of the same building for its cannabis lounge. The area is zoned as Garapan Core district.
The company also proposes to renovate and occupy a portion of a preexisting one-story building near the Elegance Restaurant for its cannabis retail use and a portion of the same building for its cannabis lounge area. The area is zoned as mixed commercial district.
Pertaining to the old GIG building, Zoning enforcement technician Juan Iguel said the company is planning to put up four indoor lounges, including a VIP room, and an outdoor lounge area.
Torres said the company will be selling products, varying from cannabis useful flowers, cannabis concentration for inhalation, cannabis concentration for consumption, and edibles that have compounds like cannabidoil or CBD.
“But all these items will be regulated. Weighed properly. Will be checked for quality control. They have all the necessary warnings,” Torres said.
He said the two retail stores and lounges will be watched by a security guard or bouncer to keep the areas safe.
Torres said the owner of the company has extensive experience with the industry in Washington and has a business in Washington as well.
“So this is the kind of experience that we’d like to bring in to the CNMI,” the lawyer said.
With respect to the GIG building, Torres said the retail application will be on the second floor. The lounge will be on the first floor.
Torres said there will be proper ventilation at both Garapan facilities.
Torres said the lounge area will be used for patrons to purchase the items sold upstairs and they can use it downstairs. “So this would be beneficial for customers that come in and purchase the items,” the lawyer said.
With respect to the other facility, Torres said the lounge will be used for customers that purchase the items either from Tuu Group’s retail shop or from other facilities.
Torres said customers will use the lounge to hang out with friends and have a good time, safe and out of the public’s eyes.
Zoning administrator Geralyn C. Dela Cruz said Zoning staff have found the conditional use permit applications by the Tuu Group LLC to be acceptable. “Therefore, the zoning staff recommends the approval of Tuu Group LLC conditional use application,” Dela Cruz said.
HTS Construction, owned by Hector T. Sevilla, is the contractor of Tuu Group. Saipan Tribune learned that Tuu Group is composed of Taiwanese investors.
The Zoning Board recently approved the applications for cannabis farming for Tuu Group in As Mahetog, Primo Farms on Capital Hill, and Marianas Hemps Farms in As Teo.