In Puerto Rico, the economic crisis has stood at a halt until medical marijuana arrived. With the advent of the legalization of the plant, millions in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs have been created.
With marijuana having low barriers to entry, it has become easy for some of the Puerto Rican people to make a solid income out of the budding industry. One of the leading growers in the U.S. territory, named Jesus Aponte, stated that “This is an economic niche that we can grab on to. A lot of people told me, ‘What are you doing with your life? You’re throwing away your future’”.
There are more than two dozen U.S. states, with Puerto Rico being one of them, to have legal marijuana for medical use.
Puerto Rico was one of the first states to legalize marijuana with their legalization occurring more than two years ago. Their new Governor, Ricardo Rossello, signed a measure last month which essentially wrote in legal framework for the new industry. Some of those who back the market stated that there will be a large expansion of cannabis fields, manufacturing centers and dispensaries which have already started to pop up across the island.
Over 9,000 Puerto Rican citizens have paid the $25 dollar fee to hold a permit which states they can use medical marijuana. The permit allows those who have it to treat 14 pre-approved conditions including HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis, migraines, anxiety and epilepsy.
The treasury secretary of the island stated that the industry could lead to up to $100 million a year in tax revenues, which will also contribute to solving the unemployment crisis they currently stand in.
With a small island nation that faces a current debt of billions of dollars, any new potentially growing market is good news. Hopefully this will help to curb people from moving to the mainland for opportunity, as more and more opportunities are supposed to be created within the island itself.