This week the governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands signed into law a bill that establishes the territory's first retail cannabis program. This is a major first for the United States as no other U.S. jurisdiction has enacted a commercial cannabis program through legistlation, only through voter initiatives. The law creates a comprehensive program that would issue licenses to cannabis producers, testing labs, processors, commercial sellers, wholesalers and even lounges. Adults over 21 will be able to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and even grow a small number of plants at home.
"I am proud of our CNMI leadership, citizens and national organizations for working together to thoughtfully develop and approve a progressive piece of legislation that that will improve the quality of life for so many," Lawerence J. Duponcheel, co-founder of the advocacy group Sensible CNMI, said. "Together, we are telling the world that we do not feel that our citizens should be stigmatized and criminalized for the responsible adult use of cannabis and that they should no longer be denied access to this life-saving medicine."