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Last updateTue, 22 May 2018 12am

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    Monday, May 21, 2018-6:08:32P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Senate approves marijuana bill

THE Senate on Wednesday passed a measure that will regulate cannabis in the commonwealth.

Senate Bill 20-62  now heads to the House after six senators voted yes to pass it while three abstained: Paul Manglona, Terry Santos and Justo Quitugua.

Sixto Igisomar

Before the bill was passed, Sen. Jude Hofschneider offered an amendment to increase the number of Cannabis Commission members from five to seven and the number of  board members from Tinian and Rota from one each to two each.

Sen. Sixto Igisomar, the author of the bill, said the measure is based on the concerns raised by the public.

An earlier version of the bill would have allowed voters in each senatorial district to approve or reject the measure. This provision has been removed from S.B. 20-62.

Igisomar said the public supports the use of marijuana especially for medicinal purposes, and his bill will provide some guidelines to prevent abuse.

Igisomar thanked community members for supporting the bill, including Dr. John Doyle and Ambrose Bennett for their research to make sure the bill addresses all concerns.

The senator also thanked the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Government and Law for “thoroughly” reviewing the bill.

“We documented all the public comments…. This bill is for regulating, legalizing and authorizing the use of cannabis whether that be commercial or personal use. Personal use includes for medicinal purposes. There are a lot of benefits that we will get from it once this bill is enacted into law, If done properly, it will help generate revenues. It is up to the commission to come up with a proper vision and regulations to make sure minors will not have access to this.”