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In May of 2015, Puerto Rico legalized medical marijuana use to treat a wide range of potentially debilitating conditions, and as of December of 2016, an estimated 1,953 patients were registered for cards giving them the legal right to make purchases as state-licensed dispensaries.

“We’re taking a significant step in the area of health that is crucial to our development and high expectations for their quality of life. I am sure that many patients with receive appropriate treatment that will offer them new hope,” said Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro Garcia-Padilla when he signed an executive order authorizing medical marijuana use in the Caribbean island, which followed in the footsteps of Jamaica, which did the same in 2015.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, a form of hemp oil that also offer therapeutic benefits, had already been legal in Puerto Rico for recreational use.

The Rules About Medical Marijuana Use in PR

  • Patients are allowed to have a 30-day supply, but only in non-smokable forms including pills, creams, patches, edibles and oral drops.
  • Because only non-smokables are allowed, home cultivation is not legal.
  • Patients must purchase their medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary, the first of which opened in late 2016. The dispensaries are not only allowed to dispense medical marijuana to residents in Puerto Rico, but also to visitors from other states with cards.

What’s Covered?

There are a wide range of different medical conditions that quality for medical marijuana because studies have shown the herbal medicinal to be beneficial.

They include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, formerly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer or other conditions that either on their own or through treatment cause severe nausea
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS or other conditions that cause cachexia, which leads to loss of appetite, muscle atrophy, fatigue and significant weight loss
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis or other conditions that cause severe spasms. Medical marijuana has been shown to ease the severity of this symptom.
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Other conditions that cause severe, chronic pain.
  • Other illnesses that have not responded favorably to traditional treatments.

For more information about what’s covered under Puerto Rican laws, visit the NORML website. NORML is an organization dedicated to marijuana reform.