As of this past Friday, medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States territory of Puerto Rico are officially open for healing.
The grand opening comes almost two years after Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla put regulations in place to allow for legal cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of medical cannabis products on the Caribbean island.
According to Governor Garcia, two dispensaries opened their doors for business while over 2,000 potential patients have registered thus far with the Puerto Rican Health Department in order to gain access to the new legal shops.
Medical marijuana patients in Puerto Rico can legally use the plant in pill form, creams, oral drops, and patches. While smoking marijuana and personal-use growing are still against the law, the Governor added that his administration’s absolute lowest priority is prosecuting marijuana possession-related offenses.
Puerto Rico will issue patients a medical marijuana recommendation if they have been diagnosed with HIV, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, anxiety, fibromyalgia, arthritis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, anorexia, migraines, spinal cord injuries, hepatitis C, and other conditions that cause symptoms of cachexia, chronic pain, severe nausea, or muscle spasms.
Because the regulations in Puerto Rico call for all legal cannabis to be grown on the island, many see medical marijuana as a way out of the island’s crippling debt issue. If Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana industry can remain primarily owned and operated by locals, the enormous $70 million public debt on the U.S. territory’s back will soon be a distant memory.
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