Puerto Rico betting on medical marijuana to help ease crisis

In this July 24, 2017 photo, Noel Sola, a cultivation worker at Natural Ventures carries marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 U.S. states, but legislators in the largely conservative island of Puerto Rico had been reluctant to embrace an industry that the island’s treasury secretary says could generate up to $100 million a year in part through a sales and use tax, as well as help ease an unemployment rate that has hovered around 12 percent, the highest compared with any U.S. state. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

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.


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