Future Farm Forms Joint Venture to Operate Five Dispensaries in Puerto Rico
October 30th, 2017
Exclusive, News, Top News
Most investors are aware of opportunities in the 29 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana, but Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana program is lesser known. Since legalizing the drug about two years ago, nearly 9,000 Puerto Ricans have paid $25 per year for a permit to use medical marijuana to treat 14 pre-approved conditions, including HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis, migraines, anxiety, and epilepsy.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello signed a measure earlier this year that set out a legal framework for the industry. The move could spark the expansion of cultivation, manufacturing, and retail operations across the island, which experts believe could generate up to $100 million per year in tax and help ease the island’s 12 percent unemployment rate. But, others are hoping that the government will go one step further and legalize adult-use marijuana.
Investors in the industry have already spent millions of dollars to obtain health department licenses to cultivate, manufacture, and sell medical marijuana. Prior to Hurricane Maria, the territory had about 30 dispensaries, more than 10 grow facilities, five manufacturing centers, and two laboratories along with nearly 300 doctors that could prescribe the drug. The hurricane took a large toll on the industry, but many dispensaries are already re-opened, as of late October.
Investing in Puerto Rico’s Industry
Future Farm Technologies Inc. (CSE: FFT) (OTCQB: FFRMF) has been working for several months on acquiring an interest in five dispensaries in Puerto Rico. On October 26, the company announced a joint venture with TCG Investments LLC, which owns the Clinica Verde brand of medical cannabis dispensaries. The company will purchase five pre-qualifications for medical dispensary licenses from Clinica Verde and contribute them to the joint venture.
“Our existing stores are located in high-traffic locations, and ever since our launch in February, we have enjoyed sustained growth,” said Ramon Ortiz, CEO of Clinica Verde. “We look forward to expanding our presence to 10 stores in Puerto Rico, creating jobs, and offering our patients the highest level of service. We believe we will be able to start building out the new dispensary locations this year and look forward to a Q1 2018 opening.”
With the full support of the government, the Puerto Rican medical marijuana industry could become the cannabis tourism mecca of the Caribbean. The island’s cannabis law also includes a reciprocity policy that permits dispensaries to serve patients that are visiting for business or just on vacation, as long as they hold a medical marijuana card from their home state. This could open the door to more revenue opportunities than initially meet the eye.
“We’re pleased about the revenue opportunities these five major dispensaries open up to us as we provide medical marijuana patients with legal, consistent, pure flower, edibles, and concentrates,” said Future Farm Technologies CEO Bill Gildea in a recent press release. “Puerto Rico, with a population of almost 3.5 million residents and another 4 million annual visitors, is an exciting, new market for Future Farm.”
Future Farm Technologies Inc.’s (CSE: FFT) (OTCQB: FFRMF) new Puerto Rican joint venture provides investors with exposure to the territory’s growing medical marijuana market. In addition to this business, the company has developed indoor growing technologies, LED lighting solutions, and recently acquired exclusively rights to use a patented augmented reality technology in the cannabis industry, which provides investors with well-rounded exposure.
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