The Attorney General says the fee structure in the final draft is a form of taxation.
Guam – Public Health Director James Gillan says the legislature will now have to foot the bill since the AG says the proposed fee structure within the final draft rules and regulations is a form of taxation, something public health does not have the right to impose.
One of the main issues the AG has with public health’s final draft of the rules and regulations is it’s proposed fee structure, which PNC, on numerous occasions, through FOIA requests, has attempted to obtain a but was denied based on attorney-client privilege. James Gillan was on the K57 Breakfast Show with Patti Arroyo earlier.
“I think one of the valid points and we had never thought about it cause we thought we needed to, in order to generate enough revenue to operate the program, that we had to set the fees at the level we set, and she said that basically really is taxation and you don’t have the authority to do that,” said Gillan.
However the fees contained the previous draft rules and regulations were released during the public hearings, to which many residents testified against these fees, saying they would bankrupt small businesses, especially if the program had a small participation rate to begin with. Mo cotton, a Guam resident said, ‘$35,000 is going to knock out all the small farmers who would, probably would like to be in this business.”
Gillan says, with this news, Public Health will now be looking to the legislature to fund medical marijuana.
“You have to let, either the legislature do that or you have the legislature actually appropriate funds to let you operate your program,” said Gillan.
Gillan says that the new draft will be cut down from 155 pages to 33 pages.
“We spent a lot of time with staff that has a whole bunch of other stuff to do, were going to need to have a separate bureau to do this, we cant have environmental health do it because they already have the prescription drug monitoring program, they have the food and drug enforcement things that they have to do so they cant be regulating marijuana and doing those things at the same time,” said Gillan.
Gillan also says that a major problem Public Health has is testing the safety of marijuana edibles, he says they don’t have the infrastructure to do so. Gillan also says once the rules and regulations are done “you still have to grow the stuff, there’s still another lag there, so it’s not going to happen overnight.”