SAN JUAN – The three dispensaries licensed to sell medical marijuana in Puerto Rico opened their doors on Friday to the 1,953 patients authorized to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
Outgoing Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla marked the occasion with a visit to one of the dispensaries.
Garcia Padilla, who hands over to successor Ricardo Rossello next Monday, signed the executive order legalizing medical marijuana in early 2015 and has worked to foster the development of a medicinal pot industry on the island, which has been mired in recession for a decade.
The 23 firms that have obtained permits to grow, process, transport and sell marijuana in Puerto Rico employ hundreds of people.
“It is a historic day for Puerto Rico and NextGen Pharma is proud to be part of this moment. Today sees the fulfillment of a promise in favor of the right of thousands of patients in Puerto Rico to a better quality of life,” NextGen Pharma managing partner Carmen Serrano said at the opening of the company’s dispensary in San Juan.
Puerto Rico joins 25 U.S. states and nine Latin American nations in legalizing medicinal marijuana.