Private investment in Puerto Rico needed for hemp industry to thrive, official says

Puerto Rico’s agriculture secretary says private investment is needed to build the infrastructure for the hemp industry to thrive in the U.S. territory.

Secretary Ramon González told a local news outlet, Noticel, that without hemp processing plants, “the business of investing in the fields is for nothing,”

“I believe that a lot of expectations were set at the beginning, as in the United States, and it has not started with the speed that was expected,” González said.

Puerto Rico launched its pilot hemp cultivation program in 2019 after the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill legalized the plant.

Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development & Commerce said last year there was interest in hemp cultivation projects totaling 18,000 acres.

“I think that to the extent that a factory can be found to process that product, (the sector) will be waking up at some point,” González said.