Once the CNMI Cannabis Commission is officially organized and releases the implementing guidelines of Public Law 20-66, it should study what type of marijuana plants and seeds would be allowed to be imported to the Commonwealth, according to Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar (R-Saipan).
P.L. 20-66 or the Taulamwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018 lifts the prohibition of marijuana in the Commonwealth and regulates its use, whether for medicinal and recreational use. Right now, marijuana use is still illegal in the CNMI, until the commission comes up with the guidelines.
Igisomar said based on his research and the feedback he has received, there are types of marijuana plants that treat specific diseases or medical conditions. “Whether it is for seizure or for memory loss, there are specific seeds.”
Igisomar first introduced a marijuana bill in the CNMI Senate but it got snagged due to revenue-generating provisions that required it to come from the CNMI House of Representatives.
In his version of the cannabis bill, Igisomar did not discuss the type of cannabis plants and seeds can be imported.
“There were discussions about seeds but I did not want to entertain them at that time, because we already have the federal government that is not necessarily favorable to this. Then there’s the interstate issue that we also have to deal with when it comes to seeds and importation,” Igisomar said. “I did not want to [include] that in the bill, because that would encroach on the federal government in respect to what is not allowable in the interstate exchange of drugs.”
Igisomar said he is leaving all that to the commission. “So, I hope when the commission comes together, they would address a lot of things on how this bill was formulated. I know that it makes sense now why it was not introduced. Eventually, when the time comes, I hope we have to figure out how to import seeds that treat specific or certain illnesses without violating federal law.”
CNMI Division of Customs director Joe Mafnas, in an earlier interview, said that the law does not yet clearly state what plants are allowed to enter the CNMI. “Seeds are not yet allowed to be imported or plants. If that is what the law says, then we will have to confiscate it at the ports.”