Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
As the first U.S. territory to legalize medical marijuana, Guam’s approach to medical cannabis is one that many states throughout the U.S. have followed, while others have expanded on Guam’s medical marijuana program by providing patients with greater options and freedom in treating their condition.
Guam’s medical marijuana program is similar to that of many U.S. states — it requires patients to obtain a medical marijuana card and a certification from their practitioner to access medical cannabis. Recommendations, versus prescriptions, are also prominent, as patients receive their medicine from licensed dispensaries.
As a patient, you may access dried or prepared medical cannabis. This lets you use edibles, oils, tinctures and other forms of medical marijuana, allowing you to develop a flexible treatment plan with your physician. Guam also permits adults and minors under the age of 18 to access medical marijuana.
The history of medical marijuana in Guam is notable. While cannabis was likely available before the Vietnam War, it is believed that members of the U.S. armed forces introduced residents to the recreational and medicinal properties of the plant during this period.
Twenty years later, marijuana in Guam would make headlines. The case, Guam vs. Guerrero made its way to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002, which ruled religious protections did not extend to the use of marijuana. Before heading to the U.S., the Supreme Court of Guam had ruled in favor of the defendant, Benny Guerrero.
More than 10 years after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling, Guam legalized medical marijuana in 2014.
Guam permits patients with a medical marijuana card to carry 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis — or more than 70 grams. While representatives did introduce legislation that would allow patients to cultivate medical marijuana, it did not pass. As a result, you may only obtain medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries.
In 2016, Guam launched its telemedicine program. The initial application, available through the Good Samaritan Hospital, connects patients to physicians in Los Angeles, CA, who specialize in cannabis for rheumatology, dermatology and more. Guam plans to expand its telehealth services, partnering patients with oncologists and other physicians, too.
Many conditions qualify for medical marijuana in Guam, including:
Patients admitted into hospice care may also receive medical cannabis. Guam permits physicians to recommend this natural medicine to any patient — minor or adult — who they feel would benefit from its medicinal properties.
To obtain a medical marijuana card, you need to file the following documents with your application:
If you’re a caregiver, you’ll need to apply, as well, and provide the following documents:
After gathering the above materials, submit them to the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
Some facts about medical marijuana in Guam include:
Penalties related to marijuana include fines and jail time. Carrying less than an ounce, for instance, can result in a fine of up to $100. If you’re within a school zone, you’re also subject to a year in prison. Guam imposes the harshest penalties on distribution, which is a felony that can lead to life in prison.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we provide patients, practitioners and caregivers around the world with the latest news and updates on medical cannabis. Whether you’re interested in learning about its legality in Guam or finding out about U.S. dispensaries near you, you can trust us.