AG: Authority over CBD lies with agencies

AG Leevin Camacho said Guam has an opioid problem and his office will continue to look at ways to combat drug addiction on the island.

It comes down to the authority of both Customs and Quarantine and Public Health, which ultimately determines whether or not CBD products are allowed through our borders and permitted for distribution, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

With what has become controversial seizures of CBD products being addressed by the likes of Congressman Michael San Nicolas and Acting Governor Josh Tenorio, Adelup has reached out to the Office of the Attorney General for clarity — an inquiry that has prompted a response from AG Leevin Camacho on NewsTalk K57 with Andrea Pellacani.

Citing Federal Drug Administration law, which states “it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food to which THC or CBD has been added,” AG Camacho states that at the end of the day, authority to act in regulation with the FDA or not, ultimately falls under the purview of the administration, through either the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency and/or the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

“If they decide, whether Customs or Public Health that they are going to stand firm and consistent with the FDA, they have that authority. If Customs is going to prohibit or seize products that are not allowed to be transferred through interstate commerce and they have the backing of the FDA and other relevant federal agencies, then they can do that,” Camacho said.

Although authority lies within both departments, one thing is agreed upon by all GovGuam stakeholders involved — the need for a consistent policy throughout government agencies, in order to provide clarity relative to the rules and regulations of the industry for the sake of business owners, consumers and GovGuam alike.

Acting Governor Josh Tenonio, in an interview with Patti Arroyo on K57 said the regulatory framework may not be keeping up with the pace of consumer demand.

“We’re living in the world with Internet and research getting published all the time. But government is just the slowest group to get on board,” Tenorio said.

In an interview with Andrea Pellacani on K57, AG Camacho said there is a need for consistency across the government of Guam.

“That’s going to be a meeting that needs to happen between our office, Customs and Public Health to bring all the government stakeholders into a room and we need to talk about what authority people would have what we are waiting for and are we waiting for guidance from the FDA,” the AG said.

In the meantime, however, in the absence of such consistency, Camacho advises business owners to refrain from importing, until clear policies are established and set in stone.

“I would discourage anyone from buying a bunch of CBD products at this point and having it shipped to Guam until there’s been a clear policy decision made by the executive branch,” the AG said.