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    Tuesday, December 11, 2018-6:34:39P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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New Guam law allows patients to grow pot at home

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Gov. Eddie Calvo has signed into law a measure that paves the way for qualified patients to legally grow their medicinal marijuana at home.

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Sen. Louise Muna looks on as Gov. Eddie Calvo signs Bill 302-34 into law, Tuesday afternoon. Introduced by Muna, the bill allows qualified patients to grow medical marijuana in their homes.  Office of the Guam Governor photo

The bill was introduced by Republican Sen. Louise Muna, who said she was elated.

“It takes a great weight off my shoulders,” the senator said. “It’s been a long time coming and I’m so glad that now the people who really do need this medicine are finally going to get it.”

Muna has described her bill as a stop-gap measure that will remain in place until the medicinal marijuana law approved in 2014 is fully implemented.

Two key provisions that have held up implementation are the construction of a laboratory to test the cannabis and a dispensary to provide it to patients, Muna said. Those projects still await funding from the Legislature.

“This bill was prompted by an initiative voted on by the people of Guam,” the governor said in a statement after signing the bill Tuesday afternoon. He said “future legislatures and administrations will work collaboratively toward a full implementation.”

Medicinal marijuana was authorized by a referendum four years ago.

No new rules and regulations are necessary, Muna said.

“There are rules and regulations already in the (previously approved) existing law.”

Muna’s Bill 302-34 was approved by the Legislature on Thursday by a vote of 8-3.

It requires patients or their caregivers to obtain a permit to grow cannabis from the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

Permit holders will be allowed to grow up to 12 juvenile plants and six flowering plants

The cannabis must be grown inside, under lock and key. Outside cultivation will not be permitted.

Public health will be allowed to inspect homes where the cannabis is being grown and confiscate any plants in excess of the number permitted.

“We’re going to make sure that we work together with public health and make sure that the permit process will go very smoothly,” Muna said.

It may be a week or so before patients can begin to apply for permits, Muna said. Public health needs to brief the employees assigned to issue the permits on what is required.

Patients will need to obtain a “diagnosis” from their practitioner before getting a permit from public health.

“It’s not a prescription that they’re going to get,” Muna said. Neither the law, nor public health provides any guidance on how patients or their caregivers should obtain the cannabis seeds. That has been left up to them. All costs associated with growing the marijuana must be borne by the patients and their caregivers.