Popular Democratic Party Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed in 2015 Executive Order OE-2015-035, ordering the Secretary of Health to authorize some or all components of the marijuana plant for medicinal use.
Administrative Order Number 352, issued by Secretary of Health Dr. Ana Ruiz, established initial directives for the possession, cultivation, manufacturing, production, fabrication, dispensing, distributing, and research of medical cannabis.
In July 2017, Act 42-2017, The Medicinal Act, was signed by the governor.
to Be to Consume?
The Department of Health (Departamento de Salud) is responsible for regulating medicinal cannabis. Adult-use cannabis remains illegal.
Smoking cannabis remains illegal on the island, and the Cannabis Medicinal FAQ page covers questions establishments, patients, doctors, and occupational licensees may need to address throughout the process.
Patient Registry, Consumption, and Possession
Puerto Ricans looking to access medical marijuana must go through an application process that requires a $100 to $150 fee. The steps are:
- Obtain a medical recommendation from an authorized doctor, which will be sent through the registration platform.
- Open an account.
- Create a request and locate your doctor’s medical recommendation.
Once completed, patients are entered into a database with the Department of Health and are only permitted to purchase from their nearest storefront dispensary.
Regulation 8766 governs consumption location, which is limited to private homes or private places where owners authorize the consumption of medical cannabis. Smokable marijuana is illegal, but the following forms of consumption are allowed:
- Oral drops
- Oral inhalers
- Topical ointments and creams
- Transdermal patches
- Vaporization of cannabis flower or concentrate
- Any other means that the Department of Health authorizes
Qualifying Conditions and Authorized Medical Providers
A full list of qualifying conditions can be found on the DS main registration page.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Cancer and chemotherapy treatment for cancer
- Degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, or multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Hepatitis C
- Incurable and advanced diseases requiring palliative care
- Intestinal inflammatory disease
- MigraineParkinson’s disease
- Peripheral neuropathies
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord injury
- Another condition that causes cachexia, or wasting disease, chronic pain, severe nausea, or persistent muscle spasms
The Health Department maintains a directory of medical providers who are authorized to recommend cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Licenses for various types of establishments, including dispensaries, distributors, and manufacturers, are available via the Cannabis Medicinal site via Department de Salud.
Occupational licenses are necessary to participate in a dispensary business as an employee or owner.
Background checks and criminal history disclosures must be made if pursuing certain types of licenses.
The Medical Act, Act 42-2017, permits dispensaries to dispense patients with medical cards from other states.
This page was last updated on January 28, 2019.