IN BRIEF: Possession of limited amounts of marijuana is now legal for adults 21 and older; home-growing will be legal within four months and regulated sales are expected to begin next year

• It is now legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana (one ounce), marijuana-infused products (16 ounces in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form), and marijuana extracts (five grams).

• Within 30 days of the bill being signed, a five-member CNMI Cannabis Commission must be appointed to serve as the regulatory agency overseeing commercial marijuana and hemp.

• A Homegrown Marijuana Registry will be created, through which adults and patients can register to grow a limited number of marijuana plants (six mature and 12 immature or up to twice that amount in the case of medical need) for personal use. If the registry is not created within 120 days of the Cannabis Commission’s organizational meeting, adults can grow cannabis without registering until it is available.

• Within 180 days of the Cannabis Commission’s organizational meeting, it must prescribe forms and adopt rules for the program, which will include six types of regulated marijuana businesses: producers, testing facilities, processors, retailers, wholesalers, and lounges. Once licensing regulations are adopted, the commission shall begin accepting applications and may not unreasonably delay processing, approval, or rejection of applications.

• A 10-percent ad valorem excise tax will be imposed on cannabis grown in the Commonwealth.

Source: House Bill 20-178/The Taulamwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018

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