There’s more support than ever for marijuana legalization and that includes Republicans. Time
Supporters of the medicinal cannabis program hold a wave at the ITC intersection in Tamuning on Nov. 17, 2017.(Photo: Frank San Nicolas/PDN)
The Department of Public Health and Social Services lacks the funding and expertise to administer a medical marijuana program on Guam, agency Director James Gillan told lawmakers during a public hearing Tuesday evening for a bill that would adopt new rules and regulations for the program.
“I’m begging you, don’t give this to us,” Gillan said, adding this is the third time he has testified that additional funding will be required if lawmakers want to make Public Health responsible for medical marijuana.
“If you insist that this department be mandated to put this program together, you will need another director,” Gillan said.
Lawmakers held the first of two scheduled public hearings for Sen. Dennis Rodriguez’s Bill 210, which would adopt the program rules and regulations recently rewritten by Public Health. The rules were rewritten after lawmakers during the last Legislature rejected the first set of rules.
The bill also would open the medical marijuana program to visitors, in an effort to create a medical marijuana tourism market and help keep the program financially viable on Guam.
According to Gillan, there are potentially 3,000 medical marijuana patients on Guam, which means a required testing laboratory would never be able to recover its operating expenses. “Even a dispensary would have difficulty,” Gillan said.
Several residents testified for or against the bill, with some rejecting the idea that marijuana should be legal at all. Voters approved medical marijuana during the 2014 General Election.
Some residents who have used, or who