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Puerto Rico Marijuana Laws
Is Marijuana Legal in Puerto Rico?
Medical marijuana was legalized in Puerto Rico in 2015 following the approval of the Medical Cannabis Act by Governor Alejandro García Padilla. The marijuana laws allow medical marijuana to treat various conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS.
Before the passage of the Medical Cannabis Act, possession and use of marijuana in Puerto Rico were illegal and punishable by fines and imprisonment. However, there was growing support for legalizing medical marijuana to relieve patients suffering from chronic illnesses and boost the state’s struggling economy.
The Medical Cannabis Act established a regulatory framework for the cultivation, processing, and distribution of medical marijuana in Puerto Rico. It also created the Medical Cannabis Regulatory Board, which oversees the implementation of the law and issues licenses to businesses involved in the medical marijuana industry.
Since the legalization of medical marijuana, the industry has snowballed in Puerto Rico, with dozens of dispensaries and cultivation centers operating on the island. In addition to providing relief for patients, the industry has created new jobs and generated revenue for the Puerto Rican government.
In 2017, Governor Ricardo Rosselló signed an executive order allowing for the use of medical marijuana in schools under certain conditions, such as when a student’s physician recommends it for a specific medical condition.
Overall, legalizing medical marijuana has been a positive development for Puerto Rico, providing relief for patients and boosting the state’s economy.
Who Can Purchase Marijuana in Puerto Rico?
According to marijuana laws in Puerto Rico, only patients at least 21 years old, certified by a licensed physician, and who obtained a medical cannabis ID card from the Department of Health can purchase medical marijuana from a state-approved dispensary. The Medical Cannabis Act sets a minimum age of 21 for patients seeking to use medical cannabis. Dispensaries are required to verify the patient’s age and medical cannabis ID card before selling them any kind of medical marijuana products.
It is important to note that the sale of marijuana to anyone under the age of 21, as well as the possession or use of marijuana without a medical cannabis ID card, is still illegal in Puerto Rico. The government of Puerto Rico takes the regulation of medical marijuana laws very seriously, and dispensaries are subject to strict requirements and regulations to ensure that medical marijuana is only sold to qualified patients who have obtained the necessary certifications and cards.
Where Can I Use or Possess Marijuana in Puerto Rico?
Under Puerto Rico marijuana laws, the use of medical marijuana is allowed only in private spaces, such as a patient’s home or another private location. It is illegal to consume medical marijuana in public places, including parks, beaches, streets, or any other area accessible to the public.
Smoking is prohibited; however, there are alternative methods of consumption that are permitted, such as:
- Capsules or tablets;
- Oral drops;
- Oral inhalers;
- Topical ointments and creams;
- Transdermal patches;
- Vaporization of cannabis flower or concentrate;
- Any other means that the Department of Health authorizes.
It is essential to follow the medical marijuana laws and regulations regarding use and possession in Puerto Rico to avoid any legal issues. Patients using medical marijuana should ensure that they consume it privately and carry their medical cannabis ID card with them at all times if required to present it to law enforcement or other authorities.
Governor Ricardo Rosselló authorized the utilization of medical marijuana in educational institutions under specific conditions through an executive order signed in 2017. These conditions include instances where a student’s medical practitioner recommends it for a particular medical condition.
Medical Marijuana Program
To access medical marijuana in Puerto Rico, individuals must complete an application process and pay a $25 fee under marijuana laws. The process involves:
- Obtaining a medical recommendation from an authorized physician and submitting it through the registration platform.
- Creating an account;
- Making a request;
- Submitting a passport-size photo;
- Attaching any other required documents.
The medical cannabis program under the marijuana laws the Department of Health in Puerto Rico keeps a comprehensive list of medical conditions that are eligible for the legal purchase of cannabis, and they are:
- Alzheimer’s disease;
- Anxiety disorders;
- Bipolar disorder;
- Cancer and chemotherapy treatment for cancer;
- Chronic pain;
- Degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS);
- Hepatitis C;
- Incurable and advanced diseases requiring palliative care;
- Inflammatory bowel disease;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Persistent muscle spasms;
- Peripheral neuropathies;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- Severe nausea;
- Spinal cord injury;
- Any condition that causes cachexia or wasting disease.
How Much Cannabis Can I Use in Puerto Rico?
According to the marijuana laws, patients who have officially registered in Puerto Rico may possess a daily quantity of 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana flower or 8 grams of THC in the form of edible concentrates. They can hold up to a month’s supply at a time.
Driving Under the Influence in Puerto Rico
Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Puerto Rico under marijuana laws and can result in criminal charges, including fines, license suspension, and imprisonment. Law enforcement officers can conduct tests to detect the presence of drugs in a driver’s system. Even for medical marijuana patients, it is essential to avoid driving while under the influence of marijuana to ensure safety on the road.
Marijuana Business Climate in Puerto Rico
Since 2015 the medical marijuana program has generated significant revenue for Puerto Rico and has created job opportunities in various fields, including cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution. The government of Puerto Rico has implemented policies and regulations to support the industry’s growth, including tax incentives, licensing programs, and quality control standards. The island’s location and favorable climate also make it an attractive area for cannabis cultivation. However, the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in Puerto Rico, and there are strict regulations and licensing requirements for businesses involved in the medical marijuana industry.
In conclusion, Puerto Rico has taken significant steps towards legalizing medical marijuana, with a well-established medical cannabis program in place. Patients with qualifying medical conditions can use and possess a limited amount of marijuana. The government has implemented policies and regulations to support the industry’s growth. However, the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Puerto Rico, and driving under the influence of marijuana is a serious offense. Individuals need to understand and comply with the marijuana laws and regulations surrounding the use of marijuana in Puerto Rico to ensure their safety and avoid any legal consequences.
Additionally, it is important to note that the above information should not be interpreted as legal counsel. It is recommended to remain informed to avoid overlooking any alterations in Puerto Rico marijuana laws.
Stay legal and informed!