After beating the 120-day statutory deadline for its proposed regulations, the CNMI Cannabis Commission is now exploring the investment opportunities presented by the soon-to-be-formed industry to a local economy impacted by COVID-19.
Cannabis commission officials provided updates during a news briefing conducted by the CNMI Governor’s office.
Chairwoman Nadine Deleon Guerrero says they are holding the floodgates, so to speak, with investors looking at the entire vertical integration set-up — from production and retail to laboratory facilities — which, according to Deleon Guerrero, is the missing component that prevents the CNMI from fully launching its medicinal marijuana industry.
“But the good news is we have investors that are interested and they haven’t fallen off the wagon. So that is good for the CNMI, that is good for any revenue-generating opportunities that we can present because Lord knows we need that right now,” Deleon Guerrero said.
Monique Sablan, the commission managing director, says like any agency in the CNMI, they were also affected by the financial and economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
“We also know that we play a significant role in increasing the economy…bettering the economy and helping the economy,” Sablan said.
She added: “By August, I would say, is definitely the time that we would be opening. Definitely the time when the applications would be ready to be given out to the public…I just ask that the public just bear with us.”
The commission is also set to open its new office space in Capital Hill. They also confirmed that they have been definitely receiving a lot of inquiries from the community about the opening of their new office.