Puerto Rico approves CBD as a medicine after a 2-year ban

This is the first cannabis-based product that has been approved for sale as a nutritional supplement in Puerto Rico’s history.

Jan 19, 2018
Puerto Rico approves first cannabis nutritional supplement

Ricardo Rossello, governor of Puerto Rico, right, and his wife Beatriz Isabel Areizaga, center, greet voters before they cast their ballots during Puerto Rico’s status referendum plebiscite in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday, June 11, 2017. (Photographer: Alejandro Granadillo/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Medical Marijuana, Inc., an industrial hemp company which produces CBD products, announced today its company, HempMeds has been approved by the government of Puerto Rico to sell its product, Real Scientific Hemp Oil. freely throughout the U.S. territory. It will be the first cannabis-based product that has been approved for sale as a nutritional supplement in the US island territory.

The decision allows HempMeds to market and sell its products through pharmacies, health care providers, and pharmaceutical companies.

Two years ago, the island’s Department of Heath canceled HempMeds registration citing that it contained a federally banned substance. Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1971, CBD is prohibited, even though it is known to be the main medicinal component of marijuana with no psychoactive effects.

Screenshot 2017 12 04 12.10.54 Can you eat raw weed?
Photo courtesy of Hemp Meds via Instagram

Now the Department of Health is backtracking on that decision admitting that they were wrong. Medical cannabis has been legal in Puerto Rico since 2015 when former Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order allowing for its use.

Last September, Puerto Rico suffered massive devastation to its infrastructure at the hands of Hurricane Maria. In the wake of the storm, the island’s medical marijuana facilities were shut down limiting access to medical marijuana patients for weeks.

Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana regulations are uniquely restrictive and assign its citizens a specified supplier for their medicine out of the island’s 29 dispensaries with the exception of emergency measures which were taken after Hurricane Maria to expanded access in order to meet demand when all but four dispensaries had shut down.

Even with these restrictions the government has taken a more positive tone on marijuana in recent months with the island’s governor publicly criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“This change constitutes a regression provoked by the lack of knowledge of what scientific evidence shows about the benefits of cannabis in the health of citizens who suffer from certain conditions,” Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló said in response to the Justice Department’s recension of the Cole Memo which protected legal marijuana businesses from federal prosecution.

Jan 19, 2018