With uncertainties over regulating cannabidiol, or CBD, products looming over the heads of local leaders, an informational briefing was held Tuesday afternoon with various stakeholder agencies, in hopes of clearing the air over the importation, regulation, and sale of CBD products on Guam.
The informational briefing was attended by representatives from Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency; Department of Public Health and Social Services and its Environmental Division; the Department of Agriculture; and the Office of the Attorney General.
It was noted during the informational briefing that GovGuam does hold the authority to formulate policies to govern CBD products in its entirety.
In the absence of such rules, local agencies such as GCQA and Public Health are forced to make do with existing regulations, one of which was highlighted by DPHSS Director Linda DeNorcey.
She said labeling requirements that mirror federal guidelines are one of the tools that local agencies have access to and this will aid in the policing of CBD products as they enter our border.
According to DCQA Director Ike Peredo and DCQA Chief Vincent Perez, such labeling guidelines that were presented by Director DeNorcey will help officers ensure that products are properly regulated.
However, another issue presented itself during the informational briefing. According to Perez, one of the methods practiced by GCQA was to conduct presumptive tests for the presence of THC. He said these tests determine the presence but not the quantity of THC in a product and because these are costly for the agency, they no longer do such tests.
In addition, the shortage of manpower at GCQA is nothing new but Chief Perez reiterates the detrimental effects of such a shortage on our border security. According to Perez, the agency is aware of the gaps in their inspection process, which require more manpower, resources, and technology.
So as it stands, labeling requirements are one of the only tools used to police the importation and sale of CBD products on Guam.
In the meantime, Public Health continues to await feedback from the FDA on the CBD products recently seized and released by CQA.
According to DeNorcey, should the Federal Drug Administration find them in violation of regulations, then the businesses responsible will be liable to direction from the court, who may release, seize or destroy the products in question.