2020-21 Improvements and Recommendations
In July 2021 Governor Pierluisi signed a bill that would expand employment protections. The bill further specifies that no contract, license, permit, or benefit under the laws of Puerto Rico can be denied based on an individual’s status as a cannabis patient. The new bill went into effect immediately. Despite the latest strengthened civil protections for employees, the island still offers no protections for parents in family court, for tenants in rental housing, or for individuals facing discriminatory roadside sobriety testing. In each of these cases, patients in Puerto Rico can still face discrimination based solely on their status as a patient.
ASA recommends Puerto Rico lawmakers fix these holes in protecting civil rights so that patients can feel safe using their medicine. Puerto Rico’s legislators should also consider allowing patients and caregivers to grow cannabis at home and consider giving caregivers the option to sell their products to retailers after third-party testing has been conducted.