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Finance chief says key to success of NMI cannabis industry: CBD oil extraction

FINANCE Secretary David DLG Atalig said the cannabis industry of the CNMI could be sustainable if it includes the extraction of cannabidiol or CBD oil.

David DLG Atalig

This will involve “big corporations” in Canada or the U.S. that are into CBD oil extraction, he said in an interview on Tuesday at the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting

There is an ever increasing demand for CBD infused products, according to, and the CNMI could be an exporter of CBD oil, Atalig said.

To help ensure the growth of the new industry, he said local students should be encouraged to get degrees in biology or chemistry.

Atalig at the same time noted that in the first year of cannabis legalization in California, proponents expected a tax windfall of at least $1 billion a year. The actual figure was $288 million, a Los Angeles Times business columnist wrote in Oct. 2019.

“So that just makes me cautious about making revenue projections, especially when we’re really a fragile island economy. I don’t want to put too much hope on [the new industry] until I see actual numbers,” Atalig said.