Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Puerto Rico launches online medical cannabis platform

By on August 9, 2018

SAN JUAN – In a release issued Thursday by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s office, La Fortaleza, it was announced that an online platform “that seeks to significantly streamline the licensing processes and the registration of patients who benefit from the Medicinal Cannabis Program” will be fully operational next week.

Currently in Argentina, the governor was quoted as saying that the “most recent statistical data indicate that 32,276 patients in Puerto Rico are using medical cannabis as an option for medical treatment. Given this, we have created this tool with the purpose of facilitating a more effective access for both doctors and patients and that the community in general can benefit.”

The website, which is managed by the Health Department’s Medicinal Cannabis Regulatory Board, can be used by patients to provide their medical recommendation and documentation to receive certification, “which could result in a greater number of beneficiaries,” according to La Fortaleza.

(Screen capture of http://licenciacannabis.salud.gov.pr)

Use of the website is optional, but will include a yet-to-be-specified, additional charge for the required identification card versus personally visiting the Medical Cannabis Office to process the request. Nevertheless, the platform is touted as an alternative to carrying out the process confidentially.

Online, patients can renew their registration, which is valid for one year. The Health Department, meanwhile, will be using the site to collect “statistical data and information metrics, such as age, conditions and demographics.”

Doctors who currently participate in the cannabis program can provide medical recommendations directly to a patient’s account, while physicians who have yet to be authorized to recommend the plant’s use can apply for their license on the site as well.

La Fortaleza pointed to the new website, licenciacannabis.salud.gov.pr, and wrote that, “according to studies, among the most relevant conditions for the use of medicinal cannabis are anxiety disorder, followed by chronic pain and arthritis,” adding that the platform’s creation “gives access to a variety of treatments and is part of the Rosselló Nevares Administration’s public policy to provide patients an alternative that allows them to improve their quality of life and achieve optimum health.”

Editor’s note: As of this writing, the licenciacannabis.salud.gov.pr website lacks an encrypted connection, thus any information entered could be intercepted. “It is expected the platform could be available at maximum capacity for all interested next week,” according to La Fortaleza.

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