Is weed legal in Puerto? Pristine beaches, incredible food, great history, rich culture, glorious mountains, and unwinding experience — all pressed into one sun-kissed Caribbean heaven – Puerto Rico. A small Caribbean island and an unincorporated territory of the USA. But wait! if you imagine yourself smoking around the beaches, you must have the answer Is weed legal in Puerto Rico?
If you are not aware of the marijuana laws in Puerto, then read ahead! You will find each of your queries resolved.
Puerto Rico has legalized medical marijuana, but recreational use has remained illegal. Can you smoke in public in Puerto? How to get a medical marijuana card? The laws, legislation, and much more about the cannabis industry in Puerto Rico are discussed in detail.
So, keep reading!
The cannabis industry in Puerto Rico
Medical Cannabis: Legal
Recreational Cannabis: Illegal
Cannabis cultivation is illegal. And it is illegal to smoke in public. Edibles are legal in the country.
Marijuana legislation History:
- Marijuana legislation started in the early 1900s when the government started looking to ban cannabis and marijuana products.
- In 1932, Act 12 passed as a regulation that banned the development and sale of pot seeds and weeds.
- In 1934, Act 61 declared marijuana a narcotic substance to keep up with the Uniform State Narcotic Drug act.
- After many years of criminalizing weed, Puerto legislative members proposed decriminalizing it in 2013. However, failed.
- In 2015, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed Executive Order to legalize medical cannabis. So the long wait for the patients in Puerto Rico got over.
- The Medicinal Act, 42-2017, was passed later in July 2017 when García Padilla signed another executive order on the Act. The Act was made to provide the legal framework for medical marijuana. Now the The Department of Health (called Departamento de Salud) regulates Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana program.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rican government runs a medical cannabis program for those who want medical need cannabis. Under this program, a medical card is issued to Puerto Ricans.
If you want a medical marijuana card, you must apply for the license at the medical marijuana registry in the following steps.
- Get a medical cannabis recommendation from an authorized doctor through the registration platform.
- Open an account and fill in the details needed to be given in the form.
- Create a request of your type and locate your doctor’s medical recommendation
- Check whether all the documents have been attached.
- Remember that a patient is limited to one dispensary you must choose in advance.
Before applying for the medical marijuana card, You must check whether you are eligible or not. Check out the following qualifying condition in which a medical card gets issued.
List of Qualifying conditions:
- Spinal cord injury or any condition that causes cachexia or wasting disease
- Cancer and after chemotherapy
- Chronic pain
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Diseases requiring palliative care
- Incurable and advanced diseases requiring palliative care
- Insomnia and Inflammatory bowel disease
- Hepatitis C
- Parkinson’s disease and peripheral neuropathies
- Prolonged muscle spasms
- Severe nausea
Remember, medical cardholders or patients are not allowed to grow their cannabis.
Problems with Medical cannabis in Puerto Rico:
If you think you can easily get a medical marijuana card in Puerto Rico, read ahead.
An article published recently in the HighTimes throws light on the issues patients face in getting a medical card.
Whether you are a patient, a business owner, or a tourist, the process of getting the card is not at all easy for anyone.
Are more than 4000 medical marijuana patients in Puerto Rico and more than 7000 areas still waiting for their cards?
Also, the cost of medical cannabis is very high in the dispensaries. Even you can buy Vape pens from the dispensaries at a very high cost.
In total, patients suffer despite being medical marijuana legal in Puerto Rico. Especially for the patients who don’t live in San Juan or nearby the Department of Cannabis.
Cannabis Laws in Puerto Rico: Know what’s legal, the penalties
Puerto Rico has strict laws against possessing, cultivating, and transporting marijuana and marijuana products.
We will take all the Puerto Rico’s marijuana laws for a controlled substance in detail:
Law Enforcement for Possession of cannabis:
Possession of any amount of weed is illegal in Puerto Rico. Though medical marijuana patients can keep a 30-day supply with them
Possession of any amount of marijuana, whether it is the first offense or the subsequent one, is a felony.
In this case, the person is subject to 2-4 years of prison with a $5000 fine- For the first offense, if it is the subsequent offense, the jail time will be from 4-10 years with the same fine.
Law Enforcement for Selling and Distribution of cannabis:
Selling and Distribution of any amount are not permitted in Puerto Rico. Selling any form of weed is not acceptable in Puerto Rico. Seriously, very serious punishments are allotted in such cases.
Selling or distributing any amount of cannabis is a felony and a punishable offense.
Have a look:
Selling any amount will be subject to jail time for five to 20 years with a $20,000 fine. The punishment gets severe for the subsequent one, and the jail time could reach 10-40 years and a $30,000 fine.
Also, if a person is found guilty of selling cannabis to minors( less than 18 years of age), the Puerto Rico court would send you to imprisonment of 10-48years with a $40,000 fine. The legislation demands 20-96 years imprisonment with an $80,000 fine for the subsequent offenders.
Indeed. It would help if you did not try to sell cannabis in Puerto Rico.
Law Enforcement for Growing cannabis:
Puerto Rico doesn’t welcome cannabis cultivation in any form. Instead, the country takes a strict stance against cannabis cultivation.
Neither home cultivation nor industrial cultivation is permitted. Cultivation of cannabis seeds or cannabis plants is a felony and harsh punishment for the offenders in the legislation of Puerto Rico.
Where can I get marijuana in Puerto Rico?
Though smoking in public is strictly illegal in the country, cops usually don’t disturb you until you smoke blunt in front of them. However, please don’t take them for granted. You may end up in jail.
Best to befriend someone local, and he will guide you to the head shop or the place where you will get weed.
Finding marijuana in Puerto Rico is not very difficult. Though recreational legalization needs time, you can get weed at retail shops, bars, clubs, etc. But keep in mind that the shops or retailers selling weed also sell cocaine and heroin.
Cab drivers can also help you in getting weed. Also, go to the places like La Perla in San Juan. This is the place you will find weed for sure. You can purchase from there as well.
There is a black market also. But, avoid purchasing from drug dealers in such places as you will hardly get the premium quality.
Don’t look for marijuana dispensaries, as buying cannabis seeds from them is illegal. However, dispensaries having registered trademarks can only sell medical cannabis to patients.
what is the validity of the medical marijuana card in Puerto Rico?
The card is valid only for one year.
Can I drive while being high?
No. It is extremely illegal to drive under the cannabis influence.
Which forms of cannabis are allowed?
The following forms of weed are permitted, but you have to consume it in your private places and homes:
Capsules or tablets
Creams, ointments, and lotions
Anything that the Department of Health authorizes
Are vape pens legal in Puerto?
Smoking accessories like vape pens, cartridges, etc., are legal.
Is the transportation of weed legal?
No. It is highly illegal. You cannot bring or take out cannabis or cannabis products from Puerto Rico.
Can you tell me how seed banks send seeds to Puerto Rico?
Crop King Seeds and MSNL seed banks send to Puerto Rico. Also, they ensure the safety of the package by discreet delivery.
What are the testing regulations in Puerto Rico?
As per Leafly, In Puerto Rico, medical cannabis gets tested for its terpenes and cannabinoid profile. Also, they get tested for the presence of the particles like- microbes, yeast, Salmonella, fungus, mold, hair, insects, and feces; residual pesticides and solvents; and heavy metals.
Can I use my medical card from the other state?
Unfortunately, Puerto doesn’t allow using the MMJ card of the home state here.
Final Words: Is weed Legal in Puerto
Puerto is a great country to spend vacations in. The country is famous for its warm gesture to welcome tourists to their land. But if you try the laws, you will be in big trouble.
The legalization of weed is far. First, though, cops usually don’t disturb the tourists. Whether local or a tourist, you must respect the country’s laws.
So, enjoy what is legal and available to avoid trouble. That’s what a wise stoner does!