Policy Recommendations Guam

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Guam

Initial regulations governing Guam's adult-use cannabis program authorized in 2019 by the Guam Cannabis Industry Act were required to be released by April 2020, however the territory's Cannabis Control Board has requested additional time to develop these new rules and expects them to be released in the fall of 2020. In the meantime, regulators announced that cannabis consumption for persons 21 years of age or older is permitted, as is legal possession and gifting of up to one ounce of dried flower and home cultivation of up to three flowering and three non-flowering plants. All sales of adult-use cannabis and sales of manufactured cannabis products is not permitted until regulations are finalized. In the meantime the organization of a functioning medical access program continues to languish. In 2018 the head of Guam's Department of Public Health and Social Services resigned citing a lack of staff, budget or expertise necessary to develop or implement the program.

Guam deserves credit for allowing physicians to recommend medical cannabis for any qualifying condition, but it needs to open dispensaries and address administrative delays to effectively serve patients. The territory illustrates that a good program on paper does not necessarily translate to functioning safe and legal patient access. Guam also needs to improve its staff training in cannabis cultivation, dispensing, and manufacturing and increase civil rights protections in the areas of housing, organ transplants, and employment.