Puerto Rico betting on medical marijuana

Puerto Rico betting on medical marijuana

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Juan Manuel Rodriguez, an investor at Natural Ventures inspects marijuana plants in a bloom room in Caguas, Puerto Rico, last month. Investors in Puerto Rico have spent more than $3 million to obtain licenses issued by the… (Ricardo Arduengo/AP) SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Jesus Aponte pushes a door open to reveal hundreds of aromatic, spiky green plants, a crop that Puerto Rico hopes will help it ease a grinding economic crisis by generating millions in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs. Aponte, a 29-year-old biologist and chemical engineer, had been thinking of joining the wave of young Puerto Rican professionals heading to the U.S. to seek work — an exodus that has aggravated the U.S. territory’s woes. But then he saw the saw the island’s medical marijuana industry start to expand, and found one of the rare new jobs opening up on the island, overseeing some 2,000 plants at the Natural Ventures facility. “This is an economic niche that we can grab on to,” he said, though he added, “A lot of people told me, ‘What are you doing with your life? You’re throwing away your future.’” But like more than two dozen U.S. states, Puerto Rico is pinning a little of its future on the recently illegal drug. Chapters descriptions off, selected subtitles off, selected captions settings, opens captions settings dialog captions off, selected This is a modal window. The long road to Lola: One woman’s journey to motherhood (7:05) The territory legalized medical marijuana by decree nearly two years ago and new Gov. Ricardo Rossello last month signed a measure that set out a legal framework for the industry. Backers say that will spark an expansion of the pot fields, manufacturing centers and dispensaries that have been popping up across the island. “A lot of […]

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