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Report Projects Puerto Rican Recreational Cannabis Market Worth Over $500 Million

Puerto Rico’s pro-cannabis trade organization is trying to push for full legalization of cannabis. A report has been released by the group that shows how legalization of recreational cannabis could benefit this territory in the US, just south of Cuba. The analysis shows that the maturity of this industry would take approximately five years. This is similar to how the vertical casino developed in Cuba in the early 20th century.

It is not the only place to think about this type of economic growth, especially post-Pandemic. The island isn’t the only destination that tourists love. This segment of the economy is, however, critically important to the island’s economy and has become increasingly so during the second decade of this century. It accounts for about 10% of total economic activity. It is true that, prior to COVID much of the infrastructure had been damaged by Hurricane Maria. Tourism was then used to rebuild it.

The island also produces other recreational products. This includes the world’s largest rum distillery, the Bacardi factory, located in Cataño. This is becoming a haven for crypto firms. Because of Donald Trump, 98% of the land on the island is currently considered an “opportunity zone” designed specifically to bring foreign investors here.

Puerto Rico Cannabis Reform

In Puerto Rico, marijuana has been banned since the passage of Act 12. There were penalties for buying, selling, purchasing, or planting cannabis in Puerto Rico.

In 2013, right after the success of two American state referendums in Colorado and Washington State, Representative José Luis Báez proposed decriminalization. Two years later, Alejandro Garcia Padilla the Governor of Colorado, approved medical cannabis reform.

The reform allows patients to receive a supply for 30 days, however it is not allowed in smoked form. Patients cannot grow their own drugs at home and must only purchase them from licensed dispensaries. An estimated 115,000 Puerto Ricans are currently ill.

Puerto Rico is currently an unincorporated U.S. Territory. It’s not considered a state. The interpretation of U.S. federal laws here is also hotly debated. Many consider these highly racist Supreme Court decisions, which were handed down early in the 20th century, to mean that Guam, Guam, and the Philippines do not have the same constitutional rights as the U.S. mainland and its incorporated territories. Indeed, according to these legal precedents, the U.S. Constitution applies within the United States proper, the District of Columbia and “incorporated territories” while only the “fundamental limitations” apply in unincorporated ones.

It is a strange and gray area, especially when you consider things like constitutional rights for states.

What is the impact on locals?

The devastating impact of Hurricane Irene was that many people were forced from their homes to move elsewhere. Over the years, investment banks have bought large areas of distressed real property here. This means that locals are unable to afford to stay here or to own property to sustain decent living standards. Local protests have also been held against foreign investment, such as the privatization public resources like beaches.

For foreign companies, it may be profitable to establish a marijuana industry in this environment. Another matter is how the cannabis industry would be beneficial to local communities in terms of economic development.