As the number of states with medical and adult-use cannabis laws continues to grow, U.S. territories are following the same trend.
Nearly seven months after the governor of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands signed HB 20-178 into law, Guam has become the next United States territory to legalize cannabis.
“We must regulate this illicit drug that is the most widely used drug in our society,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “We have to take it and control it, monitor its use and effects, benefit from its medicinal efforts, allow our people to live in a safer environment.”
On Thursday, Guerrero signed Bill 32-35 which adds a new Chapter 8 to Title 11 of Guam Code Annotated relating to the production, sale, and taxation of cannabis.
Guam residents voted to legalize medical cannabis in 2014, and home cultivation was allowed in 2018, but the program has not been fully implemented due to a variety of factors including the lack of a testing lab.
“Keeping it illegal in my mind rejects the notion that it exists and that the underground market will continue to prey upon us,” said Guerrero. “We have to be ahead of this, and we have to control it.”
Under the new law, adults over the age of 21 are permitted to possess or transfer up to an ounce of cannabis and eight grams of concentrates as well as cultivate up to six plants (up to three mature) for personal use.
Buying and selling cannabis will not be legal until a new nine-member Cannabis Control Board finalizes the rules and the Legislature approves them within the coming year.