Puerto Rico became the second Caribbean entity, after Jamaica, to legalize medical marijuana after Gov. Alejandro García Padilla signed an executive order in 2015. Recreational marijuana remains illegal, however residents do have legal access to CBD hemp oil.
Recreational Marijuana in Puerto Rico
Marijuana is a Schedule I(c) controlled substance under Puerto Rico Law, so the possession of marijuana for recreational use is still illegal. Penalties for possession include a felony charge, incarceration of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $5,000. Penalties for distribution include a felony charge, incarceration of up to 96 years and a fine of up to $80,000.
Medical Marijuana in Puerto Rico
After years of debates and discussion, the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico legalized medical marijuana on May 3rd, 2015. Gov. Alejandro García Padilla signed an executive order, noting that several studies conducted in the United States had demonstrated the therapeutic value of marijuana and were a contributing factor in his decision to sign. The Puerto Rico Health Department is now able to authorize the use of marijuana and its derivatives for health reasons.
Under the law, qualified patients can legally access marijuana pills, creams, patches and oral drops. Smoking and personally cultivating marijuana remains illegal.
The territory’s first three dispensaries opened days before 2017. They are allowed to serve medical marijuana to visitors that are qualified in other states. As of January 2, 2017, nearly 2,000 patients had registered with Puerto Rico’s Department of Health to obtain medical marijuana.
Under Puerto Rico’s law, medical marijuana is approved for the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Other illnesses that are not responsive to traditional medicine and approved by a qualifying physician
Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Puerto Rico
In most countries and regions of the world, CBD from hemp oil is legal. Puerto Rico has legalized medical marijuana but recreational use still remains illegal. No legislation is on the books as it relates to CBD from hemp oil, so it is legal to purchase and use.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Puerto Rico
The personal cultivation of cannabis for personal or medical use is prohibited.
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