CNMI cannabis commission issues first batch of registry cards

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The CNMI Cannabis Commission has issued the first batch of Homegrown Marijuana Registry cards to qualified applicants who are in compliance with the Cannabis Act and Commission rules and regulations.

 The Commission recently  adopted its cannabis rules and regulations during their meeting on June 23 and opened its office this month.  

“We recognize that for years the local legalization of cannabis has been a long sought out goal for individuals in the Commonwealth. With the signing of the Cannabis Act and the establishment of the Commission, this goal became a reality,” shares CNMI Cannabis Commission Managing Director Monique Sablan. “Seeing individuals take the initiative to embrace this newly instated privilege while also accepting its prohibitions will drive the overall success and safety of this industry.”

“As long as they remain in compliance with the laws and regulations that established this privilege, registrants and cardholders are legitimately and legally authorized to cultivate marijuana for non-commercial use. It’s an accomplishment to see individuals actively applying for this opportunity lawfully,” Sablan said. “The Commission looks forward to seeing more applications and is ready to answer any pending questions in regards to applying for the registry.”  

 Since the opening of the registry on August 4, 2020, individuals within the Commonwealth who are 21 years of age and older are mandated by law to register under the Homegrown Marijuana Registry and obtain a registry card in order to legally produce, process, keep, or store homegrown marijuana at a household or cultivation site for non-commercial purposes.

 The Commission encourages eligible applicants who are interested or have been engaging in the cultivation of marijuana for non-commercial purposes to register. The application fee is $75 per person and applicants must pay the fee prior to submitting the application.

Registrants whose application has met all the necessary compliance requirements set forth in the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations will be issued a Homegrown Marijuana Registry card, which shall be renewable annually. By law, all records of each homegrown marijuana registrant will be strictly confidential and the Commission is taking the necessary steps to ensure overall confidentiality.  

 The Commission has partnered with local law enforcement agencies DPS, Customs, and ABTC to establish the Cannabis Task Force, which will aid in the enforcement of the Cannabis Act and regulations. As mandated in CNMI Public Law 20-66 and as amended in Public Law 21-05, individuals found in violation of the Cannabis Act may be punishable by civil or criminal penalties such as fines, seizure of marijuana items, or imprisonment.