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Puerto Rico betting on medical marijuana to help ease crisis

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In this July 24, 2017 photo, Noel Sola, a cultivation worker at Natural Ventures carries marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana is...
In this July 24, 2017 photo, David Quinones, operations director of Natural Ventures speaks during an interview in Caguas, Puerto Rico. "Name one new ...
In this Monday, July 24, 2017 photo, two Natural Ventures production workers pack cannabis paraphernalia in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Investors in Puerto R...
In this July 24, 2017 photo, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, an investor at Natural Ventures smells a jar of marijuana final product, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. N...
In this July 24, 2017 photo, Noel Sola, a cultivation worker at Natural Ventures inspects germinated marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. In addit...
In this July 24, 2017 photo, Noel Sola, a cultivation worker at Natural Ventures inspects marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Investors in Puerto...
In this  July 24, 2017 photo, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, an investor at Natural Ventures shows a marijuana final product, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The isla...
In this July 24, 2017 photo, marijuana plants bloom at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Experts say that compared with U.S. st...
In this July 24, 2017 photo, Marijuana plants bloom at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana was legalized nearly...
In this  July 24, 2017 photo, Marijuana plants bloom at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 U.S....
In this July 24, 2017 photo, a Natural Ventures worker trims marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. One gram costs roughly $20, although some dispen...
In this  July 24, 2017 photo, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, an investor at Natural Ventures inspects marijuana plants in a bloom room in Caguas, Puerto Rico....
In this July 24, 2017 photo, David Quinones, operations director of Natural Ventures shows a pack of processed marijuana in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medic...
In this July 24, 2017 photo, marijuana plants are seen at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana was legalized nea...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Noel Sola, a cultivation worker at Natural Ventures carries marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana is...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, David Quinones, operations director of Natural Ventures speaks during an interview in Caguas, Puerto Rico. "Name one new ...

In this Monday, July 24, 2017 photo, two Natural Ventures production workers pack cannabis paraphernalia in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Investors in Puerto R...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, an investor at Natural Ventures smells a jar of marijuana final product, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. N...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Noel Sola, a cultivation worker at Natural Ventures inspects germinated marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. In addit...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Noel Sola, a cultivation worker at Natural Ventures inspects marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Investors in Puerto...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, an investor at Natural Ventures shows a marijuana final product, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The isla...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, marijuana plants bloom at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Experts say that compared with U.S. st...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Marijuana plants bloom at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana was legalized nearly...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Marijuana plants bloom at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 U.S....

In this July 24, 2017 photo, a Natural Ventures worker trims marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. One gram costs roughly $20, although some dispen...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, an investor at Natural Ventures inspects marijuana plants in a bloom room in Caguas, Puerto Rico....

In this July 24, 2017 photo, David Quinones, operations director of Natural Ventures shows a pack of processed marijuana in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medic...

In this July 24, 2017 photo, marijuana plants are seen at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana was legalized nea...

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico is joining more than two dozen U.S. states in pinning a little of its future on medical marijuana.

The territory legalized medical marijuana by decree nearly two years ago and new Gov. Ricardo Rossello has signed a measure setting out a legal framework for the industry. Backers say that will spark an expansion of the pot fields, manufacturing centers and dispensaries popping up across the island.

Already nearly 9,000 Puerto Ricans have paid $25 a year for a permit to use medical marijuana to treat at least 14 pre-approved conditions including HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis, migraines, anxiety and epilepsy.

The island's treasury secretary says the industry could generate up to $100 million a year, a rare bright spot for an island suffering a grinding economic crisis.


Updated : 2021-06-24 08:55 GMT+08:00