U.S. Territories & Caribbean

Caribbean nations consider paths to legalizing, regulating marijuana

Acknowledging the economic benefits of legalizing cannabis, Caribbean nations are looking toward reviewing marijuana’s status as an illicit drug and moving toward regulating it instead. Heads of state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) “have agreed that action should be taken at the national level to review marijuana’s current status with the view of reclassification,” with each country […]

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After decriminalizing cannabis, Antigua preps full legalization

One month after decriminalizing cannabis, the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda is drafting legislation to legalize recreational and medical marijuana sales. The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2018, published in the Official Gazette on March 5, amends the Misuse of Drugs Act to state that “a person who is in possession of a maximum […]

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Jamaica’s central bank asked to solve cannabis banking issues

Jamaica has asked its central bank to find a solution to banking issues that are tripping up development of the country’s medical cannabis industry. Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, said the government considers medical cannabis a potential catalyst for the country’s struggling economy, the Jamaica Observer […]

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Guam’s medical cannabis program on hold as it awaits testing lab applicants

No one has applied for a license to set up an independent medical marijuana testing laboratory in Guam, nearly two months after Gov. Eddie Calvo signed into law a bill implementing the rules for an MMJ program, a high-ranking official said. According to the Pacific Daily News, the U.S. territory’s medical cannabis program can’t start without a […]

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Puerto Rico medical marijuana market ‘growing exponentially’

One year after legalizing medical cannabis, the number of patients registered in Puerto Rico has surpassed 20,000, signaling that the industry has regained the momentum lost after last year’s devastating hurricane season. The American territory’s MMJ market is now “growing exponentially,” said Secretary of Health Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, and is adding 500 new patients per […]

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Medical marijuana harvests begin in Jamaica

At least two medical marijuana companies have begun the first-ever legal harvest of their crops, signaling that the island nation is well on its way to becoming a full-fledged MMJ market. Kaya Farms reportedly started its harvest Feb. 20, the Jamaica Observer reported, while competitor Timeless Herbal Care said in a news release Tuesday that it […]

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19 attorneys general urge Congress to give cannabis states access to banking

A letter to 10 major Congressional leaders from 19 attorneys general asks Congress to push through legislation that would allow states with medical or recreational marijuana laws to bank as other business do. The group suggests that Congress give special attention to measures such as the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE). Congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-Colorado, introduced […]

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‘We lost it all’: Puerto Rico medical marijuana businesses assess hurricane damage

By Bart Schaneman Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana industry, setting back its development at least six months – if not much longer – and causing millions of dollars in damage to MMJ businesses. No outdoor marijuana cultivation facilities survived, but some dispensaries are operating and patients who can access them are still buying.

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Jamaica receives slew of medical marijuana business applications

Jamaica has received 236 business license applications since opening the permit process last year. Of the 236 applications, two licenses have been granted but not issued because the winners have yet to pay their fees, according to Hyacinth Lightbourne, chair of Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA). Another 44 applications have gotten conditional approval, according to the […]

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Puerto Rico enacts new medical cannabis law

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has signed into law an updated medical marijuana statute after deciding a previous MMJ legalization measure wasn’t thorough enough. Roughly 20 medical marijuana dispensaries are already operating on the island, according to a count on Weedmaps. The dispensaries began opening for business in January after the island’s health department promulgated industry rules a year […]

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Jamaica grants conditional OK for three MMJ businesses

Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has given initial approval to three medical marijuana business applicants, two for cultivation and one for processing. But the actual launch of the island’s medical marijuana industry – ranging from growers to retailers – could still be months off. A total of 160 applicants competed for the latest batch of business permits, according […]

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Guam medical marijuana sales could begin this summer

Regulators in Guam have received at least 40 applications for medical cannabis business licenses since the application process opened Wednesday (Tuesday in U.S.). An official predicted MMJ sales could start as soon as summer for certain medical qualifying conditions, the Pacific Daily News reported. Though most of the license applications have been for commercial cultivation, permits […]

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