Our Puerto Rico marijuana jobs and cannabis careers guide takes you through the burgeoning medical cannabis industry in the Island of Enchantment. We cover Puerto Rico marijuana laws, cannabis job availability, and the requirements for getting hired in the industry.
Puerto Rico Cannabis Laws
Currently, only medical marijuana use is allowed in Puerto Rico. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order in 2015 allowing the use of medical cannabis for the following qualifying conditions.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Cancer or other conditions that cause severe nausea
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- HIV/AIDS or other conditions that cause cachexia
- Multiple Sclerosis or other conditions that cause severe spasms
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Spinal cord injury or other conditions that cause severe pain
Smoking cannabis is illegal, however, cannabis flower is available for vaping. Edibles, concentrates, pills, topicals, oral drops, and patches are also available.
Several months after the passing of the medical cannabis laws, the local Department of Agriculture issued its first hemp licenses. The state must now get their general plan for industrial hemp approved by the US Department of Agriculture.
Recreational cannabis use is prohibited. Puerto Rico’s reciprocity law allows those with a medical cannabis card from another state to purchase cannabis in Puerto Rico.
Cannabis Employment Opportunities in Puerto Rico
As of July 2020, Puerto Rico has 31 licensed marijuana producers. In October 2019, Puerto Rico was making a monthly average of $4 million in sales. Since the medical market started until August 2019, sales and services reached $128 million.
According to the Medicinal Cannabis Office, Puerto Rico has served over 110,0000 registered cannabis patients at over 100 dispensaries. Most dispensaries are located in the Northeast region of the island.
In terms of the hemp industry in Puerto Rico, regulations are still in the works. The island has issued 30 research growing licenses and 7 manufacturing licenses. Puerto Rico plans to award 50 licenses in total.
Puerto Rico’s growing influence in the market has prompted many US-based companies to expand their operations to the island, including some vertically-integrated ones. All the buzz in the island is setting the stage for a bright future for cannabis employment.
Dispensary Jobs in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s medical cannabis dispensaries typically hire for positions such as budtender, security guard, receptionist, assistant manager, and dispensary manager.
Budtenders are one of the most popular and accessible jobs on the market. Budtenders are responsible for helping medical patients find the right product and checking them out. In Puerto Rico, part-time budtenders make about $8 per hour.
Cultivation Jobs in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s cultivation scene is also growing due to increased demand. As the island continues to add registered patients by the thousands every month, cultivators must keep dispensaries stocked with a range of flower-based products.
One of the most popular cultivation entry-level jobs is cannabis trimmer. Trimmers are in charge of manicuring cannabis flowers, pruning excess foliage, removing waste, and identifying disease in these buds.
Trimmers are responsible for hand trimming anywhere from one to two pounds of finished flower per day with bonuses for those who can do more. Trimming can be a physically demanding job but is an excellent entry point into the agricultural side of the business.
Cultivators prefer applicants with degrees in horticulture and cannabis industry experience, as well as experience working in a greenhouse or in a large-scale agricultural setting.
Marijuana Ancillary Jobs in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s ancillary market is set to expand as the medical program becomes more streamlined and the hemp program takes off. The industry is supported by many ancillary sectors that promote business activities such as marketing, law, accounting, IT, security, banking, real estate, packaging, and more.
Where to Find Cannabis Jobs in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s cannabis market is largely concentrated in the Northeast section of the island. San Juan and the surrounding cities have the most job opportunities in the territory. If you’re looking for more places to find cannabis work, check out Ponce, Manatí, and Mayagüez.
How to Get a Marijuana Job in Puerto Rico
If you’re interested in getting a marijuana job in Puerto Rico, there are few things you should know before applying. You must be at least 21 years old to work in the cannabis industry. All employees must pass a background check.
Anyone who works in the cannabis industry must obtain an occupational license. Budtenders, in particular, must also obtain a dispensary technician license. Puerto Rico’s occupational license course must be passed with at least a 70 percent score.
Courses are about $150 for employees and about $500 for managerial positions. Licenses must be renewed every couple of years. A cannabis employee must complete three hours of education a year during this period.
Aspiring cannabis workers must select the appropriate occupational license type including dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing, or laboratory.
Enroll in Puerto Rico Cannabis College
Puerto Rico’s cannabis industry is full of exciting opportunities in a variety of job sectors. No matter what skills you have, you can work in the cannabis industry. CTU’s Puerto Rico cannabis college prepares you for a fulfilling career in any marijuana industry job.
CTU’s online marijuana college is a great supplementary education to Puerto Rico’s required occupational courses/seminars. CTU covers a wider spectrum of the industry, not just your chosen job sector.
Learn all about medical cannabis use, the effects of various cannabis products, cannabis cultivation, cannabis extraction, cannabis cooking, and cannabis laws across the country. Our cannabis certification course prepares you for an entry-level job and the start of your journey.