'Home cultivation of medicinal cannabis should be considered'

John O'Connor | Post News Staff

Sen. Tina Muña-Barnes, as co-author of the original measure legalizing medical marijuana, said she believes that accompanying legislation for the revised draft rules and regulations is still necessary.

"Especially as it relates to the portion on home cultivation and dispensing and even laboratory (testing) for that matter," Muña-Barnes said.

The revised rules were transferred to the Guam Legislature on Tuesday. Legislators have 90 days to act until the rules are automatically adopted. The senator's office stated in March that accompanying legislation may be necessary depending on the final language of the rules.

Based on conversations with the attorney general, accompanying legislation may include the taxation of medical marijuana cultivation and granting the Department of Public Health and Social Services the authority to establish standards for testing and quality control. These aspects cannot be established through rules and need legislative measures to be implemented, a representative from her office stated at the time.

Muña-Barnes has also stated in the past that she would also explore home cultivation and larger decriminalization of medical marijuana if the rules and regulations, which had been in development since 2015, were not adopted in a timely manner.

Home cultivation

The senator met with the medical marijuana advocacy group Women Grow Guam on Tuesday night. She said one topic that came up was home cultivation. Muña-Barnes said she had promoted the possibility with the idea of ensuring patients are easily able to access medical cannabis.

"Each day that (the rules) are not implemented is each day that we're taking from these folks who are truly suffering," she said. She added home cultivation needs to be seriously considered, regardless of the rules being adopted.

Another topic discussed was registration. Muña-Barnes said there was some concern about records being open but the group still needs more time to be able to fully "scrub" the new rules.

The senator's office is currently reviewing the rules and supplemental documents.

"I am waiting for a response from Sen. Dennis Rodriguez to see how else I can help assist in the facilitation of these rules and regs," she said.