CALIFORNIA: Medical Marijuana, Inc., the first publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, has announced that its subsidiary HempMeds had its product registrations affirmed in Puerto Rico, enabling the company to continue selling its CBD hemp oil products freely throughout the U.S. territory. This major milestone marks another historic first for RSHO as the first and only legally registered cannabis product to be sold in Puerto Rico as a nutritional supplement.
In September of 2015, Puerto Rico’s Departmento de Salud (Department of Health) approved 12 RSHO products through Medical Marijuana, Inc. subsidiary HempMeds for use in the territory. In Sept. 2016, the Department of Health notified Medical Marijuana, Inc. of its intention to cancel the registration of the Company’s CBD hemp oil products, stating that “HempMeds products contained a controlled substance (CBD) considered to be unlawful under the Classification or Schedule 1 of the Federal Law on Controlled Substances.”
In July 2017, per request of Medical Marijuana, Inc. for a reconsideration of this determination, Puerto Rico’s Department of Health repealed its initial determination, reinstating the registration of HempMeds products in Puerto Rico and providing the Company the right to sell them freely in the market of Puerto Rico. In appealing the decision, the Company asserted that its products were derived from the part of the plant, Cannabis Sativa L, that is exempt from the definition of “marijuana” under both the federal and Puerto Rico Controlled Substances Acts. Accordingly, the Company asserted, its products were legal under both federal and Puerto Rico law. The final determination held that:
- HempMeds products are neither marijuana, nor containing marijuana. They are natural – not synthetic – based products of industrial oil or “hemp oil” that is extracted from the stalk or mature stems of the plant Cannabis Sativa L. The products are not psychoactive and do not have the psychotropic effect of marijuana.
- HempMeds products are not substances controlled under federal law. The federal CSA identifies “marijuana” as a controlled substance under Category or Schedule 1, but the definition of “marijuana” expressly excludes from its scope oil and other derivatives of the stalk or mature stems of the Cannabis Sativa plant L.
“We are pleased with the decision to reinstate the registration of HempMeds products in Puerto Rico, as we can now continue providing the more than 3.6 million residents of this territory with CBD hemp oil products that are helping people around the world,” said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus. “We are extremely proud to have been the first Company to provide the people of Puerto Rico with CBD hemp oil products, especially after the World Health Organization’s recent recommendation not to schedule CBD.”