Can I Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Guam?
Yes, you can get a medical marijuana card in Guam. During the 2014 midterm elections, Guam legalized the use of medical cannabis to treat “debilitative conditions”. While licensed dispensaries are not currently operational and a solid MMJ program has not been properly implemented, there is an active patient registry, and Guam is accepting applications for new patients.
Can You Possess Medical Marijuana in Guam?
Yes. With the passing of Bill 215-32 in 2014, qualifying patients are allowed to possess and use marijuana to treat a variety of medical maladies. And while government-licensed dispensaries aren’t available at the moment, home cultivation by patients was legalized with the passing of Bill 302-34 in 2018.
What is Required to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient?
The requirements for registering as a medical marijuana patient in Guam are fairly standard. Hopeful patients just need to be proven residents of the territory, be diagnosed with a qualifying condition, receive written certification from a physician, and successfully complete a Registry ID Card Application. While there are thought to be thousands of qualified patients in Guam, only a small handful are currently active cardholders.
Is There an Age Restriction for Medical Marijuana Patients?
To apply for a medical cannabis card in Guam, patients must be 18 or older. However, younger patients can be granted permission to enter the program under specified advice from a medical professional. In that case, they would also need a caregiver to join the program as well. The caregiver registration form can be found here.
What is a Qualifying Medical Condition in Guam?
Any patient with these conditions can qualify for a medical marijuana card in Guam:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Any conditions that cause intractable spasticity
- Any patient admitted into hospice care
Guam’s list of qualifying conditions ends with a pretty broad statement, including “any condition for which the qualified patient’s practitioner has determined that the use of medical cannabis may provide relief”. Additionally, the Department of Public Health and Social Services also accepts submissions to add a new debilitating medical condition to the list above. The request form can be found here.
How Much Medical Marijuana Am I Legally Allowed?
Qualified patients in Guam can possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana. In addition, medical patients are permitted to cultivate up to 6 mature plants and 12 immature plants at home. To practice your patient right, fill out a Patient Home Cultivation Permit (this comes with an additional $15 fee).
Steps to Getting a Medical Marijuana Patient Card in Guam
The process of receiving a patient registry card in Guam is pretty standard, though it includes just a couple additional steps of authentication that you may not find in other medical marijuana programs. To get on the fast track to medical cannabis treatment in Guam, follow these steps:
- Written Physician Certification – First, patients must be evaluated by a licensed physician in which they have a “bonafide practitioner-patient relationship” with. The physician must determine that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and declare so via a Written Certification.
- Authenticate the Certification – Within 24 hours of receiving the certification, the physician must transmit a copy of the signed written certificate to the Department of Public Health and Social Services for authentication. Patients can also authenticate the form in person at the department office while presenting their application and additional documents for approval.
- Complete the Application – Patients and caregivers hoping to join the program must fill out a Registry Identification Card Application. This form must be presented in person, along with a few other documents.
- Gather Documents – In addition to their application, patients must provide proof of identification, proof of residency, and a recent photo. Caregivers applying must also provide another copy of the patient’s written certificate, fill out a primary caregiver registration form, and provide court and police clearance.
- Submit and Pay Fees – Once applicants submit their materials and pay the necessary fees, they’re well on their way to potential approval. Once approved, it could potentially take a month or more to receive a MMJ card, due to the lack of a clearly established program.
What are the Fees Associated with a Guam Medical Marijuana Card?
Guam is home to some of the lowest patient fees among any medical marijuana program. The initial application fee is just $15. If the card needs to be replaced, that will cost an additional $10, but that’s the extent of the fees for qualifying patients aside from $5 late charges on documents. However, it’s worth noting that these base fees don’t include the cost of a doctor’s evaluation.
While patient fees are low, prices are less forgiving for designated caregivers. The initial application fees cost caregivers $100, while replacement fees and late fees remain at $10 and $5 respectively.
How Does a Doctor’s Evaluation to Get a Guam Medical Card Work?
While evaluating a patient’s eligibility for Guam’s medical marijuana program, the central aspect for the doctor is establishing a “bona fide patient-practitioner relationship”. On the physician’s Written Certification form, this is defined by four criteria:
- Having reviewed the medical history of the patient
- Providing information about the potential benefits and risks of cannabis to the patient
- Performing an exam on the patient – either physically or through a thorough study of the medical history of the patient
- Initiating follow-up care with the patient
Past that list of requirements, the intricacies of the evaluation are up to the individual physician’s discretion.
What is My Next Step to Get My Medical Marijuana Card?
If you’re a resident of Guam and still struggling through the process of obtaining a medical marijuana patient registry card, your best resource is the Department of Public Health and Social Services’ page for the Medicinal Marijuana Program.
There, you’ll find links to the laws in which the program was built upon, including the list of forms required in any area of the application process, including:
- Written Certification for Physician Evaluations
- Registry ID Card Application
- Form to Add a Debilitating Medical Condition to the Program
- Caregiver Registration Form
- Patient Home Cultivation Permit
. . . and more!
How Do I Renew a Medical Marijuana Card in Guam?
Medical marijuana patient registry cards are valid for one year in Guam. To ensure the card remains valid, patients must complete the renewal process 45 days before their current card expires.
The renewal process includes the same material required for the initial application: proof of identification/residency, written doctor certification, and recent photograph. In addition, there is a renewal fee of $10, but there can be additional fees if the applications aren’t submitted before the 45-day deadline.
For more information on obtaining a medical marijuana card in Guam, reference these resources: