Attorney General Leevin Camacho has issued a statement in support of the crackdown on products that contain cannabidiol derived from the hemp plant.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, products have been widely available in island stores in recent months following passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp.
The legalization of hemp has "given some the impression that CBD has been completely decriminalized and that CBD sales are now legal everywhere and by everyone," the attorney general said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
However, "decriminalization does not mean no regulation," he said.
The attorney general's statement was issued in response to a letter sent to him on Monday by acting Gov. Josh Tenorio and Speaker Tina Muña Barnes, who asked for a "written determination" of the AG's "position on the ability of local businesses and individuals to import CBD products to Guam."
Tenorio and Barnes were reacting to complaints from island businesses whose CBD products had been seized by officers with the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency.
CQA Director Ike Peredo told The Guam Daily Post on Tuesday that he instructed his officers to begin testing air cargo shipments of CBD products in February. They found traces of THC, a derivative of hemp's better-known cousin, marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law.
Consumer safety concerns
CBD is still considered a drug, Camacho said, and the Food and Drug Administration has authority to regulate the products that contain it, many of which "are still not approved for interstate commerce."
The attorney general cited a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that almost 70% of CBD products purchased online as part of the study were not accurately labeled.
"Our office is concerned about consumer safety," said Camacho. "This means making sure that products inform consumers about what they contain, and what those products do."
Regulation of CBD, he said, will "keep the products safe, and prevent people from making false claims" about what those products can do.