Analyses show that not all of Puerto Rico’s medical cannabis market is saturated. There are only a few areas within Hato Rey where extremely high levels of saturation are concentrated. The rest of the economic areas do not present worrying levels of saturation, but tourist areas such as Condado and Isla Verde have increased their supply of clinics due to the additional demand provided by tourists.
While the establishment of new medical cannabis clinics continues, the first saturation index – published by ABEXUS Analytic – argues that the market in the metropolitan area may be close to saturation, especially in the Hato Rey area.
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The study also revealed that if the establishment of dispensaries continues in areas such as Hato Rey, the industry could experience a drop in prices. The decline, while it could benefit patients, would cause a collapse of the cannabis industry, particularly among local crops and manufacturers.
The data reviewed in the report – published in November of last year – pointed to an industry that could reach nearly 246.000 patients distributed around the island, and which tends to be concentrated near the areas of higher incomes in Puerto Rico.
Current reality of the industry
The recent earthquakes that have impacted the south-western part of the island have also had an effect on the medical cannabis industry, whose sales have decreased by 25%. The reason identified by the industry for this trend is the lack of money, which has caused patients to reduce the frequency of their clinic visits. What is worrisome is that a high percentage of medical cannabis users are patients diagnosed with anxiety disorder, a condition that has skyrocketed following recent seismic events in Puerto Rico.
Luis Mendez, GreenMile’s operations manager, explained that it is preparing to open a new clinic in the heart of Hato Rey to redefine and raise the standards of the industry in Puerto Rico, and with a focus on education and holistic aid. The opening of the clinic, which will be located at #400 Muñoz Rivera Avenue in the Oriental Bank building, is scheduled for late February or early March.
Access to medical cannabis in healthcare environment
Mendez said that GreenMile is committed to providing compassionate access to medical cannabis in a professional healthcare environment, which he understands will make a difference. He explained that the company’s aim is to offer “a journey to a healthier and more balanced life” through education and the medical tools that can help people take charge of their health.
“We have taken it upon ourselves to create a holistic approach and strive for the well-being of the patient,” he said. “Hato Rey has the highest concentration of dispensaries on the island, so we were very clear that we had to create something different that would have a positive impact on our patients,” the manager added.
Reasons for Hato Rey
Although he is aware of the saturation of the medical cannabis industry in the area, Méndez explained that they chose Hato Rey to locate their first dispensary for the diverse community that resides and travels through the place. He also pointed out that the establishment will be one of the largest in the capital city.
“Hato Rey is very diverse and is home to different segments of the population. There are young people and universities, but you also have the Golden Mile with executives and banks. There are also hospitals and communities of people in the golden age. It is an area of great opportunity to provide access to medical cannabis, which offers alternatives to work with different conditions and people in all stages of life,” he said.
Medical cannabis consumption
On the other hand, given the still existing stigma on the consumption of medical cannabis, Méndez explained that they will provide individualized service to educate the patient on the consumption and the appropriate doses – which is no longer merely through vaporization – and that they will also help patients improve their lifestyle.
“It’s not just being able to get the medical advice and give the dose. We will also be guiding patients on what other things beyond cannabis they can implement in their daily lives to help them in the recovery process, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We have to take them by the hand and help them eliminate the fear of something that can actually help them,” he insisted.
The dispensary will have all the products approved by the Health Department, such as flowers for vaporization, oil extracts, sublingual drops, capsules, concentrates, and edibles.
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First published in elVocero.com, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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