The closings caused by the coronavirus pandemic have had an effect on the sale and collections of medical cannabis, according to statistics from the Department of the Treasury.
The most significant decrease was reported in the May collections. . According to these numbers, the total sales of cannabis that month was $ 6 million, producing revenues for the treasury of $ 380,000. This is practically half of what they managed to sell and raise between February and April. In January, sales were almost $ 12 million, while collections reached $ 1.2 million.
So far this year, the sale of medical cannabis has been $ 51 million, while the sales and use tax collections (IVU) have so far been about $ 4.4 million. Last year, the IVU collection for the sale of cannabis reached $ 14 million, the highest number since the medicinal sale was legalized in 2017.
Shadiff Repullo, lawyer and activist in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana , attributed the reduction in sales to curfew restrictions due to Covid-19. Although the first curfew began in mid-March, he said the effect was seen months later with the new restrictions.
"We understand that this is due to Covid-19. In May we saw the effects of these restrictions, which at the beginning were some and by May they were more, "he said.
Denise Maldonado, executive director of the Office of Medicinal Cannabis of the Department of Health, recognized that the licenses for the The use of medicinal cannabis, as well as for dispensaries and doctors, has been increasing.
According to the agency, there are 394 doctors who prescribe cannabis on the Island, 92,000 patients and 176 dispensaries. There are also 38 crops registered.
Maldonado denied that there are plans to close the licensing process to open dispensaries.
“I know that there is a rumor that the calls will be closed and I have to say that this rumor, at today is false. What did happen is that there was a bill in the Chamber that said that they were going to close calls to do a market study and then reopen it, but that bill was not approved, "he said.