U.S. Territory Makes Landmark Decision to Legalize Cannabis

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The Commonwealth of the Northern Marijuana Islands otherwise known as the CNMI is a U.S. territory that has recently voted to legalize cannabis in its medicinal form domestically. The industry on cannabis has been booming with a massive amount of propensity toward the future as more and more individual states begin to legalize its use.

The vote in the territory was decided almost unanimously by an 18-1 vote. The CNMI House of Representatives decided to pass the vote after realizing that legal marijuana could help not only the individuals, but also with revenue in the territory. The new law will effectively help to create a system of taxed and regulated sales of the plant, and will also allow industrial hemp to be grown and sold, which has become a massive market on its own.

Back in May, the Senate approved a very similar bill, but some issues arose when it went to the House to be voted upon. After creating this new proposal, the bill was approved by the full chamber for the future of the industry domestically. According to Lawrence Duponcheel, a member of Sensible CNMI, “The people of the CNMI recognize that the prohibition of marijuana has been terribly misguided and harmful, and our leaders are in touch with the public’s sentiment on this issue. Today, members of the CNMI House of Representatives showed their commitment to honoring the will of the people.”

Once the bill is able to be put in place, CNMI will become the first U.S. territory to go starkly from not allowing the use of cannabis whatsoever, to having a massive network of legal framework in place for the substances use. According to one report on the subject, “It will also be the first to legalize a system of regulated cannabis production and sales through an act of lawmakers rather via a ballot measure. The eight U.S. states with legal recreational marijuana commerce have enacted those programs through decisions of voters at the ballot box.” Other states in the U.S. have also been working to put some sort of legal framework in place for the benefit of the cannabis industry for those who need it for medicinal use or recreational purposes, and so far it has been met with a large amount of positivity. Interestingly enough, the industry has seen a massive amount of approval over the course of the past few years as more and more individuals become comfortable with the idea of legal cannabis.

Justin Strekal, the political director of NORML, stated that “the lawmakers and people of CNMI are on track to make history, and more U.S. policymakers would be wise to take notice before the upcoming midterm elections.” The CNMI bill’s findings section states concurrently that “States that have set up regulated markets for marijuana with time, age, and place of sale restrictions, product testing, labeling, and other precautions relative to providing a safe product for responsible adult consumers, have observed real and significant benefits to public health, safety, and quality of life for all residents.” It goes on to state as well that “ the Legislature finds that it is in our best interest to move marijuana into a regulated and controlled market for responsible adult personal use, allowing for the creation of jobs and the capturing of a new revenue stream that can be used to fund public safety programs, public school infrastructure and programs, supporting the retirement fund, and other government and social programs.”

For all of these reasons, it looks as though the cannabis world is moving forward with a great amount of velocity toward the future.

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