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Work to make medicinal marijuana reality facing roadblocks

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The long and winded process continues. "I've made it known to people, I think this law is the most ridiculously illogical thing I've ever read," said Department of Public Health and Social Services director James Gillan. He's referring to the current law guiding the implementation of medicinal marijuana. Despite difficulty implementing the law, he said Public Health is supposed to be accepting applications

"The law says you have to entertain the applications, but it doesn't make sense to say you've got an application that would allow you to get a permit, when you don't have any rules and regulations in place," he added.

Gillan said these rules and regs are still being drafted, and then would have to go to the attorney general, governor, and legislature for approval. Another issue barring implementation is the lack of a laboratory, which is key because the drug will likely be offered in alternate forms including oils.

"The real serious part is when you distill some of this product, there are pesticides in it, the distillation process also increases the strength of the pesticide, so you could give someone an oil, effectively poisoning them so the lab is really important."

However given Guam's small population, he said it's difficult to find an investor willing to fork over the amount of money needed for a new lab.

"So I asked speaker [BJ] Cruz to consider, maybe we should find some way for the government of Guam - with 100 percent local money -no federal money involved, to assist someone who's interested in doing this laboratory operation. Because if we don't have the lab, we can't guarantee the quality or the safety of the product," he said.

 In the mean time he said DPHSS will continue to work to finalize the needed rules and regulations, adding The Medical Cannabis Regulation Commission may meet in the coming weeks.

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