28 Oct 2020

Slow take-off for CNMI marijuana industry

5:56 pm on 28 October 2020

The Northern Marianas is banking on the newly established cannabis industry to spur economic growth at a time its key tourism industry has been levelled by coronavirus.

However Governor Ralph Torres, would prefer a slow and steady growth and management of the new industry.

Torres said he doesn't want the Cannabis Commission bombarded by too many companies applying for licenses, because this might cause issues with enforcement and other matters.

Governor Ralph Torres signs the Budget Bill into law

Governor Ralph Torres signs the Budget Bill into law Photo: CNMI govt

He said he's happy for slow growth so the local community and the businesses can grow together and better understand what is needed to ensure the cannabis industry is successful in the long run.

Mr Torres said the Zoning Board has recently approved the applications for cannabis farming by several companies in what were previously residential zones on Saipan.

A company with a thriving cannabis business in Washington in the U.S. has recently been given the go ahead to renovate two buildings in the tourist district of Garapan, including a former discotheque, for its marijuana retail shops and lounges.