How To Get Medical Marijuana in Puerto Rico | MedCard
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Puerto Rico Medical Marijuana Guide

While marijuana is illegal for recreational use in Puerto Rico, the U.S. island territory offers a medical marijuana program that serves more than 250,000 patients. 

Medical marijuana was made legal in Puerto Rico by executive order in 2015. Regulation No. 8766 was signed by Governor Ricardo Rossello in July 2016. A 2018 update, Regulation No. 9038, made a few minor revisions to the law including adding reciprocity features that allow visitors to the island who have a medical marijuana card from another state or country to shop at Puerto Rico dispensaries. 

The Medicinal Cannabis Regulatory Board (MCRB) is the government body that oversees the use, growth, production, and distribution of medical marijuana in Puerto Rico.

How to get a medical marijuana card in Puerto Rico

All Puerto Rico residents are potentially eligible for a Puerto Rico medical marijuana card assuming they suffer from one of the qualifying medical conditions.

Steps to obtain a medical marijuana card

Here are steps patients will need to take in order to obtain a medical marijuana card and shop at Puerto Rico dispensaries.

Step 1 – Make an appointment with a Puerto Rico medical marijuana doctor

To find out if the patient is eligible for a Puerto Rico medical marijuana card patients must consult with an MCRB registered physician. At the appointment, the doctor will determine if the patient qualifies and then enter the patient into the MCRB system. Patients are also required to get the doctor’s recommendation certified by a notary lawyer. 

Step 2 – Complete an online application

Approved patients must complete the registration process online by creating an account and entering basic information into the system. Patients also need to upload the notarized doctor’s recommendation and attach a passport-style photo plus any required documents such as proof of identification and address. (It’s also possible to apply in person at the MCRB’s offices in San Juan.) 

If approved, the patient will receive their medical marijuana license via mail within 4-6 weeks. If the card and information packet does not arrive within two months patients must contact the MRCB.

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Puerto Rico medical marijuana qualifying conditions:

Cost

Initial medical consultations range in price from $50 to $150. There’s an additional cost of around $35 to have the recommendation notarized. The application fee for a Puerto Rico medical marijuana card is $25. 

Age restrictions

Puerto Rico residents aged 18 and older may apply for a medical marijuana card. Minors are also permitted to obtain medical marijuana but must have the permission of both parents or their legal guardians.

Marijuana doctors in Puerto Rico

Doctors who wish to become MCRB-certified have a valid medical license, plus a license to prescribe controlled substances. They must also receive appropriate training on the use of medicinal marijuana in order to be certified by the MCRB to prescribe cannabis.

Puerto Rico medical marijuana doctors

Caregivers

With the exception of minors, caregivers are not permitted to serve medical marijuana patients in Puerto Rico. Patients must purchase and administer their own medicine. A parent or guardian must act as a caregiver to patients under the age of 18.

Telemedicine

Physicians in Puerto Rico are not permitted to use telemedicine services for medical marijuana consultations. Patients must be examined in person.

Marijuana dispensaries in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico medical marijuana patients can only buy cannabis from their nearest dispensary. There are officially more than 300 medical marijuana dispensaries in Puerto Rico with locations in more than two-thirds of cities and towns on the island. More than 100 applications for a dispensary license are still being processed. A large number of Puerto Rico dispensaries are located in San Juan.

List of Puerto Rico medical marijuana dispensaries

Marijuana products available in Puerto Rico

Patients can buy cannabis products in the following forms: (Delivery Methods)

However, smoking of marijuana is prohibited under Perto Rico’s medical marijuana rules. As such, dispensaries do not sell paraphernalia such as pipes and rolling papers. However vaping of flower is permitted and some dispensaries sell dry herb vaporizers. 

Puerto Rico purchase and possession limits

Patients are permitted to purchase up to a 30-day supply of marijuana or cannabis-infused medicines as determined by the patient’s physician with a maximum daily purchase of one ounce of dried flower or 8,000 milligrams of THC

Prices

Prices for medical marijuana products are relatively reasonable at Puerto Rico dispensaries compared to prices in some U.S. mainland states. However, they vary widely across the island. 

Dried flower prices range from $7 a gram up to $40 per eighth ounce. Prices for THC-infused products and concentrates vary depending on the concentration of THC and the number of doses. Patients can find single dose 25-milligram edibles for $7 or 300-milligram packages for $50. And concentrates can be bought at some locations for $45 to $60 per gram.

Contact your local dispensary for current prices. 

Delivery

Some Puerto Rico dispensaries offer home delivery services. Contact your local dispensary for more information. 

Reciprocity

Puerto Rico allows dispensaries are permitted to serve patients with medical cards from other U.S. states and other counties. However, visitors are not allowed to buy cannabis flower and are limited to other cannabis-infused medicines such as edibles, concentrates, oils, capsules, etc.

Read More on MedCard Reciprocity

Home cultivation

Medical marijuana patients in Puerto Rico are not permitted to grow their own cannabis.

Employment

Medical cannabis patients in Puerto Rico are protected under employment laws. Employers may not discriminate against patients when hiring or terminating employment. However, patients can be fired for using cannabis if it poses a threat to others or to property, or it interferes with employee performance, or if it exposes the employer to the risk of losing any license, permit, or certification.

Possession penalties

Registered medical marijuana patients will have an affirmative defense in court if they are arrested for the possession of cannabis. Patients must carry their cards with them any time they transport cannabis products. 

Outside of the medical program, the possession of any amount of marijuana can result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a $5,000 fine. Anyone caught distributing marijuana may face up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Public and social consumption

Public consumption is not permitted. Patient use of medical cannabis is limited to private homes or other privately-owned places with the permission of the owners. Social consumption lounges are also prohibited.

Marijuana-related DUI laws in Puerto Rico

Drugged driving carries similar penalties to drunk driving in Puerto Rico. The first offense is a misdemeanor and comes with a fine of up to $500, plus license suspension for up to 30 days, and possible imprisonment for up to 15 days. The second and third offenses come with stiffer fines and longer prison sentences of up to six months.

Puerto Rico hemp and CBD laws

Under Puerto Rico’s hemp laws, the definition of industrial hemp is consistent with the definition presented in the 2018 Farm Bill. However, in April 2019, Puerto Rico’s Department of Health released a memorandum stating that CBD sourced from industrial hemp “must comply with the same quality standards as medicinal cannabis CBD products.” In order to be legal, hemp-derived products must contain less than 0.3% THC by weight. 

Puerto Rico medical marijuana and guns

Marijuana is a Schedule I Controlled Substance and federally illegal in spite of medical cannabis’ legal status in Puerto Rico. The databases for weapons permits and medical marijuana are not cross-referenceable. However, buyers must attest to the use of marijuana on a federal form when purchasing a gun and will be denied if they admit to using marijuana. Be aware that lying on the application may be punishable by up to five years in prison.

Learn more about marijuana and gun laws.

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