International lawyer: Guam could stimulate cannabis-based research and development in the region

Marijuana leaf (PNC file photo)

With its strategic location, Guam could stimulate cannabis-based research and development in the  APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) region, according to an international lawyer.

David Meredith is a corporate lawyer with experience in New York, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the Gulf. Meredith moved to Guam last year and since then, he has looked at opportunities in the medical cannabis industry on the island.

Meredith is the co-founder of Homegrown Guam, LLC, according to his social media profile. The company seeks to  develop medicinal cannabis delivery for patients on Guam.

“Our longer term goal is to develop R&D facilities for companies to do research into cannabinoid compounds that exploit CB1 and CB2 receptor pathways, but with the risk of legal liabilities mitigated by a government-owned structure that in-sources R&D talent from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for patent royalties,” Meredith said in his profile.

“My primary interest is in the support of the medicinal, I think the recreational is actually helpful to that because it lowers the barriers to trying to do medical testing laboratory, to trying to get other elements of the therapeutic uses done. If its legalized for recreational purposes it’ll become easier for the medical purposes as well,” Meredith said.  

Meredith says Guam could stimulate cannabis research and development in the region. Researchers from the APEC  (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) region or even from the continental U.S. could be brought on Guam.

He said government restrictions exist out here and the APEC region, but countries such as China, and India are looking to do legal cannabis research and Guam could be that place.

“If they had a place to come out to Guam, do their research so that its not infringing upon laws in their own country and it is under the protection of a Guam-owned laboratory, then there is no risk at the federal level either,” he said.

But are there investors? According to Meredith, conversations are still at an early stage with a company in China.

“They have a hemp farm that they are developing in Yunnan province and they are looking at extracting CBD (cannabidiol)  using some sophisticated equipment,” he said, adding, “When I got talking to them and they said there were limited to manufacturing the oil. I said – why don’t you come out to Guam? We can grow things here and you can do your research on Guam that you would not be allowed to do in China. They are interested.”

Meredith said a bigger conversation needs to happen about the proposed government-owned lab – a big stumbling block to the process, and which the Department of Public Health said isn’t going to happen.