Birth of a new industry as CNMI announces 1st cannabis commercial licensee

Marijuana leaf (PNC file photo)

The CNMI Cannabis Commission has announced the licensure of the Commonwealth’s first commercial licensee to Slider Marianas, LLC on Friday, March 12, 2021.

The issuance of the Production Class I commercial license allows for the legal planting, cultivation, growth, harvesting, drying, and sale of cannabis to licensed wholesalers, processors, retailers, lounges, laboratories and/or research certificate holders in the CNMI and marks the birth of the Commonwealth’s newest industry.

In the queue are several commercial applications for review and approval, a handful of which have already received Approval in Principle (AIP) letters from the Commission.

An AIP letter certifies that the Commission has reviewed the applicant’s submission with the determination that most of the applicant document submissions have been completed and approved for licensure pending the fulfillment of specific requirements in accordance to the Cannabis Commission’s rules and regulations and CNMI Public Laws 20-66 and 21-05.

The Commission foresees the licensure of retailers in the very near future as a select few applicants are close to meeting all requirements pending inspection of the onsite premises.

As set by statute, the schedule fee of the list of commercial applications may be found on the CNMI Office of the Governor website at .

In related news, the Commission would like to inform the general public of the ability for medical marijuana patients to register for the Medicinal Homegrown Program for applicants who are able to obtain a doctor’s recommendation of cannabis treatment for debilitating medical conditions. A list of these conditions may be found in the CNMI Law Revision Commission website under Administrative Code Title 180.

Applications and guides for the Homegrown Marijuana Registry consistent with 4 CMC Subsection 53012 may also be found on the CNMI Office of the Governor website.

Pursuant to CNMI Public Law 20-66 and Public Law 21-05, the Commission was sworn-in on September 12, 2019 at which the Commission also held its first organizational meeting to begin the structuring, framework, and promulgation of the CNMI Cannabis Commission rules and regulations. In March 2020, the Commission met its 180-day statutory deadline by adopting its emergency rules and regulations.

The Commission opened its doors to begin intake of commercial and homegrown registry applications in August 2020.

(CNMI Office of the Governor News Release)