Agency directors have conflicting views on CBD policy

Customs and Quarantine Agency director Ignacio “Ike” Peredo (PNC file photo)

Suspicions of extrajudicial seizures of CBD products at the border have been noted by Congressman Michael San Nicolas. In letters penned to both directors of Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency and the Department of Public Health and Social Services, San Nicolas asked why the seizures were made and why these products are still being withheld.

A three-way conversation was had on NewsTalk K57 relative to the suspected illegal seizures and the withholding of multiple CBD products by Guam Customs and Quarantine.

According to Customs Director Ike Peredo, it was upon the request of the Department of Public Health and Social Service Director Linda DeNorcey that the CBD products remain withheld.

“At the time, when the products were seized, that’s when we notified public health. They came to the office and conducted the investigation, took pictures of the products and told us they were going to send it to FDA for further guidance and disposition and for us to hold on. They’re sending it off to FDA and they have advised us to hold on until they get the final disposition of these products. So that’s where we are at right now,” Peredo said.

He added: “The only thing that’s holding it is that the request that was provided to us … that these particular products are being sent to FDA for their review and guidance and when we receive that information from Public Health then we will take action on these products.”

However, DeNorcey said seizures at the border are beyond her purview as head of DPHSS. When asked by K57’s Patti Arroyo whether she had formally directed, required or recommended to Peredo that he withhold the products in question, DeNorcy stated: “No, I was given a letter to inspect, by him, because I don’t have the jurisdiction as far as customs and quarantine. The detainment is with Guam Customs and Quarantine. I’m not holding any products at this time. Let’s just clarify that for the record these products are with CQA and will remain there as that is the case and it is being held there. We are just awaiting FDA, on my end as far as lab goes. And once we get the report, of course, we forward it to GCQA.”

In addition, Peredo stated that the CBD seizures were only made at the Guam International Airport, through air cargo freights, a statement that DeNorcey again contradicts.

“One item did come in from the U.S. Postal Service. There are other numerous entities, not just USPS. There were also three from DHL, one from Air Cargo, and about eight from FedEx and five from UPS,” she said.

Although neither Peredo nor DeNorcey has determined that any seized products have violated the law, according to the U.S. FDA “it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food to which THC or CBD has been added.”

Meanwhile, Adelup has reached out to the Office of the Attorney General for a written determination of the OAG’s position on the ability of local businesses and individuals to import CBD products to Guam, stating that Public Health and Customs are acting under “some initial guidance” from the AG’s office.