The Puerto Rico medical marijuana industry has been growing at a phenomenal rate and could be the next frontier for cannabis investors. The medical cannabis program has more than 92,000 registered patients and has increased 180% since last summer alone. While not officially a state, Puerto Rico remains an unincorporated U.S. territory that has the potential to generate $100 million in cannabis tax revenues by 2020 and create 20,000 jobs.
Of course wherever there is opportunity to be found, corporate cannabis investment firms will follow. Recently, the primary players in the Puerto Rico medical marijuana industry include Cansortium, Columbia Care and Bhang.
Cansortium hasn’t wasted any time and recently announced that it has plans to open its second Fluent medical marijuana dispensary in Puerto Rico. Columbia Care is expected to launch “vertically integrated operations” on the island, including a medical marijuana dispensary in San Juan and a cultivation/manufacturing facility in Cidra. Bhang penned a deal to distribute its wide variety of more than 25 cannabidiol (CBD) product lines to the island.
Cansortium’s CEO, José Hidalgo remarked that, “The opening of our second Fluent dispensary in Puerto Rico is further evidence that we are executing our growth plan by steadily expanding our dispensary network.” Their hugely successful fundraising rounds earned them over $56 million even before they hit the market as an IPO.
This has allowed them to expand their network significantly in Puerto Rico as well as Canada, Florida, Texas and Colombia. Hidalgo went on to say “In addition to our two dispensaries in Puerto Rico, we operate 15 Fluent dispensaries in Florida with plans to have 30 in operation or secured by the end of 2019. We are excited to bring our high-quality consistently-formulated Fluent products to more customers in Puerto Rico.”
New York City based cannabis firm Columbia Care has also been extremely profitable bringing in more than $100 million since their launch in 2012. CEO Nicholas Vita noted that, “We are thrilled to join the Puerto Rican community and be a part of its economic revival. Columbia Care continues to execute its national rollout strategy with Puerto Rico representing our 11th market launch in the U.S.”
Florida-based Bhang has secured a sweet distribution deal to provide its CBD infused chocolates, chewing gum, lip balms and gummies to the Puerto Rico medical marijuana industry. Bhang CEO Scott Van Rixel explained that, “Our entry into the fast-growing Puerto Rico market is yet another step toward our mission to build a true, global house of brands while leveraging partnerships with leading regional operators."
Puerto Rico has been in recovery mode ever since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017 but continues to rebuild. U.S. cannabis investment companies could be a saving grace creating jobs and providing much needed tax revenue for an island in need.