Caribbean

Caribbean

Puerto Rico & Jamaica

Puerto Rico, which started drafting its framework in January, could see its first sales under the new program in a matter of months, according to statements by the general counsel for the U.S. territory’s Department of Health in August. Considering the timing of approval for cultivation licenses and other pieces falling into place, it’s realistic to think that sales could commence early next year, said Mayra Maldonado, legal adviser to the health department.

Drug law amendments that partially decriminalize small amounts of pot and pave the way for a lawful medical marijuana sector went into effect in 2015 in Jamaica, a country where the drug has long been culturally entrenched.

Justice Minister Mark Golding described the reforms as “long overdue” on the Caribbean island, where the drug is revered by members of Jamaica’s Rastafari movement and used regularly by many ordinary Jamaicans. Jamaica’s Parliament gave the amendments final approval in February.

The act makes possession of up to 2 ounces (56 grams) of marijuana, or “ganja” as it’s known locally, a petty offense that could result in a roughly $5 ticket but not in an arrest or a criminal record.

Cultivation of five or fewer plants by any household is allowed. And Rastafari adults are now permitted to use marijuana for sacramental purposes for the first time since the homegrown spiritual movement was founded in the 1930s.