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Final testimony submitted for medicinal marijuana rules

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The final hearing wrapped for the draft rules and regulations for medicinal marijuana on Guam. While the public hearings are over, the public still have time to submit their comments.

It's been quite the journey for the implementation of medicinal marijuana locally, and for Emily Concepcion, she's been along for the ride from the very beginning. "I'm just really here to show moral support 0018 and thank everyone for being involved in whatever way they were involved," she stated.

Emily is the wife of the late Joaquin "KC" Concepcion, the man who was the inspiration for the Compassionate Cannabis Use Act of 2013 - the medicinal marijuana measure passed by voters last year. She along with dozens of others were on hand today at the final public hearing on the draft rules and regulations.

And according to Tom Nadeau, the administrator of the Division of Environmental Health, the public hearings have garnered a variety of comments. "This is the opportunity for the department to hear what the public has to say on the proposals and regulations," he shared, "and we've received numerous and we're grateful for that and we'll definitely need to reexamine our proposed regulations and see if there's any improvements that need to be made."

He says the biggest concerns primarily focused on the $35,000 proposed costs for dispensary registration and cultivate site registration certificates, adding, There's definitely been some concerns about the fees that's been into the proposed regulations and also the clarification that's necessary in the regulations that probably need to be added on and all that will be looked into and taken into consideration."

Nadeau does, however, note that the rules are up for revision once the process is complete. "We recognize this will be a rather controversial proposal, but this is part of the process and this is where we get public input to improve what we have drafted. And it is a proposed draft and as we've said over and over, it's not set in stone, it's open for revision and it will very likely," he said.

In the meantime, Concepcion hopes the public's concerns are addressed in ensure the measure named after her husband benefits all who need the medical relief. "I'm hoping they do, she stated." "Because that's the purpose of the public hearing - to hear the people out and as the director said, they may make some adjustments and hopefully they do to fit the needs of those will benefit and use this medicine for themselves."

The comment period will remain open 10 days after today. You can email your comments at dphss-deh@dphss.guam.gov.  

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