Torres: Exciting times for the Cannabis Commission

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, times are “exciting” for the CNMI Cannabis Commission, according to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who believes it will attract new investors to the CNMI.

“It is exciting times for them,” he said at his radio news briefing Tuesday. “I have seen them work through this process, the regulations in detail. I’m excited to see the applicants and the interest.”

The Cannabis Commission launched its commercial program yesterday, along with the homegrown registry program, to finally allow entrepreneurs and investors to put up a marijuana-related business in the CNMI.

Cannabis Commission chair Nadine Deleon Guerrero is optimistic, saying in an interview that there are investors who have travelled to the island to work on their application.

“We are optimistic and…we currently have an investor who’s in quarantine right now, waiting to come in and do all the paperwork. We are very, very positive that this is going to take off,” she said. “We have one from Washington and one from Taiwan. …These are our potential investors and applicants that have expressed interest. They’re just waiting for the date to turn in their application.”

The Cannabis Commission continues to communicate with possible investors, with Deleon Guerrero adding that while the current situation with the pandemic is “unfortunate,” the CNMI still has people who are looking to invest.

Recognizing the times, Torres also said that people are skeptical about investing, and if they do, they do so not at the amount that was projected in the beginning. “But seeing the interest that’s here, for a business prospect to go through the quarantine process, that’s commitment in itself.”

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 in Saipan.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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