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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Puerto Rico in 2023

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Table of contents

  1. Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Puerto Rico
  2. Eligibility Requirements
  3. Qualifying Conditions
  4. How to Apply for a Medical Card in Puerto Rico
  5. What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment
  6. Cost
  7. What Is Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?
  8. Applying As a Caregiver
  9. Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
  10. Puerto Rico Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

If you have at least one qualifying medical condition, Leafwell can help you get a valid medical marijuana card in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans gained access to medical marijuana in 2015 after then-Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed an executive order authorizing the consumption of cannabis for medical use. Two years later, a legal regulatory framework for medical marijuana was established in the U.S. territory.

Although Puerto Rico still outlaws recreational cannabis use, people diagnosed with at least one qualifying medical condition can apply for a medical cannabis card. Leafwell is open in Puerto Rico and can help you get a valid medical marijuana card. Here’s everything you need to know about applying for a Puerto Rico medical marijuana card online.

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Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Puerto Rico

Recreational cannabis is still illegal in Puerto Rico. In 2015, Governor Padilla signed an executive order to discourage prosecuting people caught in possession of 6 grams or less of cannabis. However, purchasing and possessing marijuana without a medical card in Puerto Rico is still risky and can land you in legal trouble.

The only way you can buy cannabis legally is with a medical marijuana card. The card not only offers you access to the island’s medical marijuana program, but it also protects you against legal penalties and discrimination. According to Puerto Rico Law 15-2021, employers cannot discriminate against registered medical cannabis patients.

Patients with medical cards are allowed a daily amount of 8 grams of THC (in edible or concentrate form) or 28 grams (1 ounce) of cannabis flower. If you are found in possession of marijuana without a medical card, you could receive a felony conviction, a fine of up to $5,000, and up to five years in jail.

Eligibility Requirements

Puerto Rico residents with at least one qualifying medical condition can apply for a medical marijuana card. You must be at least 21 years old and a legal resident of Puerto Rico. Before you can apply for a card with the Puerto Rico Department of Health, you’ll need to consult with a doctor and get certified.

Can Minors Get a Medical Card in Puerto Rico?

Yes, minors in Puerto Rico can acquire a medical card. However, they’ll require a parent,  guardian, or caregiver to represent them during the application process. The parent or caregiver will also be responsible for purchasing any medical cannabis and providing it to the minor in their care.

Note that the Puerto Rico medical marijuana program refers to caregivers as Authorized Companions. They have to be at least 21 years old.

Qualifying Conditions

According to Puerto Rico’s medical cannabis laws, patients suffering from one of the following health conditions are eligible for a medical marijuana card:

How to Apply for a Medical Card in Puerto Rico

If you live with at least one of the conditions mentioned above, you’re allowed to apply for a medical marijuana card. Here’s what you need to know about the application process.

Documents You’ll Need

  • Identification documents. You need to show a Puerto Rico driver’s license or photo ID to prove that you’re a resident of Puerto Rico.
  • Medical records. These may include medical notes from a primary physician or specialist, and bloodwork or radiographic evidence (optional).

When applying for a medical card on behalf of a minor, you’ll have to provide official identification and a Certification of Criminal Records.

Steps to Apply

Now that you have all the relevant documents at hand, you can officially begin the application process.

  • Register online with Leafwell.

The first thing you need to do is register online with Leafwell. We will connect you with a certified medical cannabis doctor.

  • Meet with a medical marijuana doctor.

The next step is meeting with a licensed cannabis doctor. Providing your medical records can give them an even better understanding of your overall health. Once they examine your records and determine you qualify for a card, your physician will fill out a medical marijuana certification form.

Note that you’ll only be billed by Leafwell if your application is approved. You are not liable for the application fee if it isn’t approved.

  • Complete the online application process.

You can now head to the Department of Health’s online portal to apply for a medical marijuana license. Make sure to attach your identification, medical records, and a note from your physician. You’ll also have to upload a clear, passport-sized photo for your marijuana ID card.

  • Get approved and receive your card.

If the DOH approves your application, you’ll receive your new Puerto Rico medical marijuana card within 30 days. In the meantime, you may be able to use your receipt as a temporary card. Once issued, a medical card is valid for one year.

What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment

Leafwell recognizes the impact cannabis treatments can have on patients. However, not everyone has access to crucial information that may increase their odds of getting a medical cannabis card.

We’re determined to make the application process as smooth as possible by connecting you with certified physicians nearby and providing all the information necessary to make an informed decision. All you have to do is register online at Leafwell, and we’ll do the rest.

The consultation itself is simple: you’ll discuss your medical history with a licensed cannabis doctor who will determine if you qualify. If approved, your doctor will recommend you for certification. The last step is filling in the online application and submitting your details.

Cost

Leafwell charges a $99 consultation fee for approved applications. The DOH also charges a $25 fee to apply for a medical cannabis license using their online portal.

What Is Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?

Although state medical marijuana markets across America have different policies and frameworks, some states allow the use of out-of-state cards. This is called medical marijuana reciprocity.

Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana program accepts medical cards from out-of-state patients. Visitors who would like to purchase medical cannabis can also apply for a card. The following states have medical marijuana reciprocity laws and may accept or recognize a Puerto Rico medical marijuana card:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Washington, D.C.

If you’re traveling to a state with a medical cannabis program, call ahead to check if dispensaries there accept out-of-state cards.

Applying As a Caregiver

Minors who require medical marijuana treatment are required to apply for a card through a parent or legal guardian. Legal adults who can’t handle the application process on their own can be represented by a caregiver. Parents or caregivers (Authorized Companions) have to be at least 21 years old.

If applying as a caregiver, you’re required to submit a Certification of Criminal Records and a clear copy of your official ID with the application. Approved Authorized Companions can then purchase medical cannabis legally on behalf of their patient.

Where to Buy Medical Marijuana

Once you’ve received your medical cannabis license, you can purchase medical-grade marijuana at any of the 200-plus cannabis dispensaries in Puerto Rico. Note that home cultivation is illegal in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

Medical cannabis became legal in Puerto Rico in 2015. Since then, Puerto Rico fleshed out its medical marijuana program, which allows patients to purchase up to a 30-day supply of cannabis. Smoking marijuana is banned, but edibles and concentrates are legal with a medical card.

Recreational cannabis distribution, use, and possession are banned. The law also prohibits the use of cannabis near nurseries, schools, parks, hospitals, and federal buildings.

Due to medical cannabis reciprocity laws, cardholders from the U.S. may be able to purchase cannabis from Puerto Rican dispensaries. Furthermore, Puerto Ricans may be able to purchase cannabis from U.S. states.

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Article written by

Samuel Njoroge

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