Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana laws have a reciprocating agreement, where visitors to the island, who have medical marijuana recommendations in their home-state, can access cannabis through the island’s licensed dispensaries. The twist here is the only people who are legally allowed to be notaries in Puerto Rico are lawyers. As our recent 4/20 article on Puerto Rico revealed, there is a high demand for pot amongst the population. A medical tourist from California checks out a weed plant growing in a trashcan in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. There are over 170 medical cannabis business applications waiting to be approved; 17 dispensaries have been approved since last fall.
Puerto Rico has been in the headlines lately for financial troubles that are leading the country towards the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history. The island is on the hook for over $70 billion in debt and has no way to pay it.
Fortunately, the government has the option to nourish a new industry with medical marijuana. Unfortunately, it appears that they are putting up roadblocks at every turn.
The Puerto Rican government has not made the process of entering the medical marijuana field easy for anyone. Patients, tourists and business owners are all having trouble operating within the current system. Part of the issue may be a learning curve on the part of elected officials, but willful resistance and a lack of resources is also at play.
All combined, patients are the ones feeling the most pain.
There are over 4,000 registered patients in Puerto Rico, with 7,000 more awaiting their patient ID cards.
When I visited the Department of...
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