Customs will no longer seize cannabidiol shipments

Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency director Ike Peredo (PNC file photo)

In light of what has become controversial seizures of cannabidiol (CBD) at our ports of entry, and Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s orders to release them, the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency said it will no longer seize CBD products coming in until clearer and more formal rules and regulations are developed.

Following a meeting held between the governor, Guam Customs and Quarantine Director Ike Peredo, and Department of Public Health and Social Services Director Linda DeNorcey on Friday, the executive decision to release all the recently imported CBD products seized by GCQA was made official, according to Peredo.

“We’ve started releasing all these products since Saturday, I think. We had a total of 19 interceptions and these were all from the airport. And I think there were two from the post office. A lot of them are for commercial importation so we have made contact with all those businesses and a lot of them have already called our office for the release of the products as directed by the governor,” Peredo said.

Meanwhile, in the absence of both federal and local policies to regulate the importation of CBD products, Peredo says that GCQA will no longer be seizing such products at our ports of entry, but will continue to inspect and maintain records of their importation.

“We’ll continue to inspect all the products that are coming in. We will identify if there are any infractions as it relates to regulation but we’ll continue to release them. At the same time, we will also note down those items and make sure that Public Health is aware of it,” Peredo said.

He added: “So no seizures at all. But we will record them.”

The need to establish a clear and consistent set of guidelines to regulate the importation and distribution of CBD products on Guam continues to be important, said various stakeholders.

“What’s probably gonna happen is that a well-defined policy on how we’re gonna regulate these particular products will be worked on because that’s what’s missing right now,” Peredo said

But CQA isn’t the only agency concerned. Lawmakers also see the need for rules and regulations relative to CBD products as shown by Senator Clynt Ridgell, author of the Guam Cannabis Industry Act of 2019, on Newstalk K57 with Andrea Pellacani.

“There doesn’t seem to be a clear standard operating procedure or a clear set of rules. So that’s why I just decided to invite everyone to the table so we can sort of clear up a lot of the confusion and just have everyone talk about what can be done and what are the current practices right now,” Ridgell said.

He added: “Let’s just figure out exactly what are the processes right now, who’s in charge of what right now regulation-wise, and what can we do so that people have a clear understanding of what they can import and what they need if they’re going to import CBD products.”

The senator will conduct an informational briefing on the importation of cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp products on Tuesday, July 16, 2 p.m. at the public hearing room at the Guam Congress Building.

On the agenda are the following:

* Office of the Attorney General – Legal interpretation of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”) on the importation and regulation of CBD and hemp products;

* Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency – Procedure and process of handling imported CBD and hemp products;

* Department of Public Health and Social Services – Procedure and process for enforcement of Federal Drug Administration (FDA) rules and regulations applicable to labeling of CBD and hemp products;

* Department of Agriculture – Regulation of CBD and hemp products;

* United States Department of Agriculture – Regulation of CBD and hemp products;

* United States Postal Service – Mailability policy for CBD and hemp products; and

* Input from local businesses on importing or attempting to import CBD and hemp products