Puerto Rico Agriculture Secretary Carlos Flores announced the availability of applications to obtain licenses for hemp research pilot projects through its website.
“We’re in the execution and compliance period for several initiatives that have been routed from the start of the administration,” Flores said.
“That said, we’re starting the process of research in science and technology based on our tropical conditions to maximize the success of this new agricultural industry,” he said. “Our island is in constant competition with other jurisdictions and continues to implement plans to develop hemp in a tropical area.”
The Agricultural Pilot Program is the initial initiative to study the growth, cultivation or marketing activities and marketing of industrial hemp.
Any person or corporation interested in participating in a hemp research pilot project, or work any aspect of the industry, has to meet the requirements, apply for and obtain a license from the Office of Hemp Licensing and Inspection.
As part of the licensing requirements for pilot research projects, the individual or corporation must complete an application. This request must be accompanied by a legal title, deed or lease of the locations where they will work with the plants or their byproducts.
“This initiative gives the opportunity before the plan approved by the federal government, to start controlled harvests that can help us practice and apply technology to then move to commercial levels,” Flores said.
“Like other states, it also offers the opportunity to identify the best varieties, soil types, pest and disease control and crop management during different times of the year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Irving Rodriguez, director of the Office of Hemp Licensing and Inspection, said there is a need to produce and collect data on all aspects related to the hemp industry in Puerto Rico.
“This data and best practices are imperative to begin commercial projects after federal agencies present, at the end of 2019, the standardized regulations for all states and approve, or deny the State Plan amendment requests,” he said.