The CNMI Cannabis Commission is ready to take in applications from all home growers of marijuana for the homegrown registry program, now that the registry system is in place.
Public Law 21-5 permitted the cultivation of homegrown marijuana, subject to regulatory controls, and now that the registry is in place, qualified growers should now get their annual homegrown registry cards from the commission, for an annual renewal fee of $75 a year, which would allow them to grow six adult marijuana plants and 12 immature plants.
Commission chair Nadine Deleon Guerrero said in an interview that, while the law allows for homegrown cultivation, it also stipulates that those engaging in homegrown cultivation are mandated to register for the program first.
“Come in, turn in your applications. We are ready to get growing. …We really try to simplify the processes. We ask for the patience of the CNMI people and, as they’ve been giving us, let’s work through it and we will continue to simplify processes as we go,” she said.
The commission is also now ready to accept applications for the commercial cannabis program. “The birth of the commercial industry in the CNMI now allows for our local entrepreneurs [and] investors to come in and hopefully capitalize on cannabis. …Producers that are coming into the CNMI to set up shop, including local entrepreneurs, now have the ability to come in and apply for a license and grow [marijuana] legally,” she added.
Despite having only one staff, through managing director Monique Sablan, the commission guarantees that they can handle all applications. “We have been working up until this point, trying to create the procedure and how we’re going to actually implement…application intaking but also the processing side. There will be a lot of administrative work that needs to be done on my part, but once we get the flow of things, [it will get easier],” Sablan added.
Applicants may submit their application packages, either for Homegrown or Commercial Licensing, at the intake windows of the Commonwealth Casino Commission and the Department of Commerce on Saipan.
Applications on Tinian may be dropped off at the Department of Commerce customer service intake window, while Rota applicants can drop off their applications at the Administrative Office of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.