Puerto Rico medical cannabis legalization has become a legislative reality. On July 9, 2017, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares signed the Law to Improve the Study, Development and Research of Cannabis for Innovation, Applicable Norms and Limits, also known as MEDICINAL Law, to regulate medical cannabis on the Caribbean island.
“The previous administration ignored the legislative process and, following an executive order, promulgated a regulation without due discussion with all sectors and representatives elected by the People. Those who argued that a measure like this could not be discussed and legislative support and the cannabis industry were wrong, they were wrong,” said Rosselló Nevares in a press release. “Since this administration began, we have been working to create an effective legal framework for patients and the medical cannabis industry, by legislation and with the input of all experts in the field. This, maintaining the prohibition to the use of recreational cannabis and attending the worries of all the sectors involved.”
Rosselló Nevares was joined by the Puerto Rico Medical Cannabis Association’s Board of Directors as well as relatives of medical cannabis patients for the signing ceremony.
“We are pleased that the governor has fulfilled his commitment to create a strong legal framework that will enable the long-term growth of the industry so that patients have access to medical treatment without major obstacles,” said Ingrid Schmidt, President of PRMCA. “This initiative sends a positive message to entrepreneurs, investors and Scientists who already observe what happens on the island. We have the governor’s commitment and leadership so that the future regulation of the industry under this law is testimony to his initial commitment to patients and to economic development.”
According to the Daily Mail, medicine is not taxed in Puerto Rico; however, medical cannabis will be and medical cannabis sales will pay the Sales and Use Tax, with 10% going to the Trauma Hospital of the Rio Medical Center Stones. The law also states that 50% of the money collected via cannabis-related fines will go to the University of Puerto Rico’s medical cannabis research and development.
With the Caribbean island facing a debt crisis, Puerto Rico medical cannabis legalization could provide a much needed boost to the territory’s economy.