What are these pot stocks doing in Puerto Rico? Re-building, of course.
Puerto Rico legalized medical marijuana in 2015, but the cannabis industry suffered severe losses last September when Hurricane Marie devastated the island. Since then, the Puerto Rican government is working to re-establish their footing in this industry. These are the pot stocks that are helping Puerto Rico make its comeback.
Pot Stocks in Puerto Rico
Yesterday, Future Farms Technologies Inc. (CSE:FFT, OTCQX:FFRMF) and TCG Investments started building two brand new medical marijuana dispensaries. One is on the northern coast in San Juan, the other in Humacao on the eastern coast.
These two dispensaries are the first of five that the partners will be building together. TCG Investments is the owner of Clinica Verde, a dispensary chain that is already well-established in Puerto Rico. Construction started on April 25th, and the dispensaries should be open and running by June.
San Juan, as the capital city, is the obvious choice for a popular medical marijuana dispensary. And Humacao, a city densely populated with hospitals and medical professionals, is a very strategic choice for these two.
According to a statement, Humacao is home to 23,000 registered medical patients. The city was originally home to the newest Clinica Verde dispensary until it was destroyed by the hurricane. In a statement from TCG Investments CEO Ramon E. Ortiz, both companies hope to tap back into Humacao’s original success by rebuilding the dispensary.
“Humacao is a market with great potential. It's home to large multinational corporations like Microsoft and Medtronic and to a world-class resort at Palmas del Mar,” Ortiz said. “Hurricane Maria caused major damage to this area and we're glad to announce that our new store will reopen stronger than ever and help improve the quality of life of Humacao's hundreds of medical cannabis patients.”
Future Farms is not the only pot stock setting up on the coast. Earlier this month, Green Spirits Industries (OTCPK:GSRX) announced the construction of its dispensary in Dorado. Dorado, on the northern coast, is the company’s first dispensary on the island, but it is not their last. Just last week, Green Spirits applied for licensing for another dispensary in Bayamón. According to a statement, Green Spirits anticipates all of their dispensaries – five of them to be exact – to open later this summer.
Building a few dispensaries on the island should not come as a surprise for those invested in Green Spirits Industries. The cannabis company recently appointed Juan Bauzá Salas, former Puerto Rican Secretary of Agriculture, to their advisory board. Salas will serve as a consultant with his forty years of experience in agriculture and international business.
More than Marijuana
As all of these dispensaries start re-opening their doors, Puerto Rico is rebuilding their seed-to-sale traceability to meet the anticipated demand. BioTrackTHC is the leading technology firm chosen by the Puerto Rican government to manage the country’s seed-to-sale systems.
The contract caught a lot of heat from competing cannabis tech firms last year, but Puerto Rico officially executed their agreement with BioTrack in February 2018. The seed-to-sale software went live on April 24th. BioTrack’s system facilitates the Puerto Rican government’s ability to regulate the supply and sale of medical cannabis on the island.
“The Traceability System empowers us to provide [patients] with access in a way that is both transparent and responsible,” Antonio Quilichini, Executive Director of Puerto Rico’s Regulatory Board for Medical Cannabis, said earlier this week. “Additionally, it will enable the medical cannabis board to properly track the island’s supply chain in real time, with complete visibility and accountability.”
It was a tumultuous year for Puerto Rico, but the marijuana industry is not one to give up so easily. Prepping the country’s cannabis technology is a good sign. As the island’s lights slowly start to come back on, it looks as if the country’s storm clouds could have a silver – or dare we say green? – lining after all.
Photo credit: Erik Larson