Monday, October 14, 2019

Puerto Rico CofC commends gov’t for cannabis oversight

By on June 11, 2019

Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce President Kenneth Rivera Robles (Screen capture of http://www.camarapr.org/)

Backs bill against patient discrimination, wants credit unions to work with dispensaries

SAN JUAN — The president of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, Kenneth Rivera Robles, and the members of the CofC’s Medicinal Cannabis Committee thanked island public safety officials Tuesday for their first inspection of illegal cannabis products at several San Juan establishments.

The CofC said the police intervention of several establishments, in which multiple containers of synthetic marijuana were found, was “an excellent first step that benefits” the more than 75,000 cannabis patients and thousands of industry employees in Puerto Rico.

“We call for an even further strengthening of the efforts regarding the elimination of illegal products, and that the primary needs of the sector and patients are met; especially regarding their health,” Rivera said in a written statement.

He noted that to address industry and patient needs the CofC expressed its support for the passage of House Bill 1197, which would prohibit employment discrimination against patients certified to use medical cannabis.

The CofC would also like to see the lack of financial service availability addressed, with Robles saying, “It is very difficult to manage a business without banking facilities. The dispensaries have to pay for everything in cash, which makes matters as simple as the payment of the IVU [Spanish acronym for the sales and use tax] difficult, not to mention the security problem created when handling large amounts of cash.”

He stressed that although there are federal provisions that make it difficult for banks to serve the industry, at the local level, “it is something the cooperative [credit union] sector must evaluate with priority and can count on our support.”

Rivera also assured that the CofC created its Medical Cannabis Committee this year to help strengthen the budding industry for its economic potential on the island.

—CyberNews contributed to this report.

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