Photo by Vortex Farmacy.

When you think of 7/10 in the cannabis community images of dabs, vapes and infused products probably come to mind, and for good reason.

Long a running joke among the mechanically inclined, flip 710 around and you have OIL. As the oil and concentrate boom has taken off, the weed world has appropriated the term. Sort of like 420’s younger, higher sibling.

But in Puerto Rico on Monday, July 10, the day will be all about the flower.

The Puerto Rico Cannabis Club in conjunction with at least one local medical cannabis company will be hosting a “medical marijuana get together” from, 4:20 p.m.-7:10 p.m. at the Plaza San Juan Bautista, in front of the Capitol Building (el Capitolio) in San Juan.

Why?

Because Puerto Rico’s government is trying to limit the medicinal use of cannabis flower to terminally ill patients only.

An activist holds a sticker that reads, “Tata smokes synthetic,” in Spanish—a reference to Charbonier and synthetic weed, like Spice or K2. (Photo Courtesy of the Puerto Rico Cannabis Club)

Ultra-conservative politician, Maria Milagros Charbonier, has repeatedly called for more restrictions on flower. She gloated in victory when a new law for regulating the medical cannabis industry was proposed, as it has all but wiped out the sale of cannabis flower. Many have publicly criticized Charbonier for her lack of sympathy and understanding on the subject.

The new law reportedly will limit flower to terminally ill patients—defined as having six months to live or less—or on a case-by-case basis approved by a government appointed panel. Puerto Rican law already bans the smoking of flower, only allowing for vaporizing buds and refined products. Moving to restrict access to flower even further, will not only limit patients’ and doctors’ choices for treatment but will also give the heavily entrenched black market that much more power.

Jimmy Diaz, founder of the Puerto Rican Cannabis Club, explained that, “not only will it hurt the patients, the law will hurt people seeking jobs, and the people who have invested in this industry are going to lose a lot of money.”

Jimmy Diaz, founder of the Puerto Rico Cannabis Club. (Photo Courtesy of the Puerto Rico Cannabis Club)

He mentioned one licensed grower who is sitting on 80 pounds of bud, out of a total of 100 pounds harvested.

“They have nowhere to move it, the dispensaries take a couple ounces here and a couple there. That’s no way to move 80 pounds though.”

Diaz also thinks that the new law is only going to encourage people to stay underground.

“Why would anyone get their medical card if they can’t get flower at a dispensary, but can get it off the street for a decent price?” he asked.

He believes that’s why very few 25-35 year olds participate in the official medical cannabis program—black market access is just too easy and affordable compared to the government system. If the government wants the cannabis industry to succeed, they are going to need to take into consideration the wants and needs of patients and business owners.

That is why Diaz decided to hold the event this coming Monday.

He stressed that his aim was not necessarily a rally or a protest in the traditional sense. More so, he wants to make the government and all Puerto Ricans aware that without the flower, patients and businesses will suffer. He wants to inform everyone that, “you do not have to be dying to benefit from the flower.”

He hopes that the event will encourage politicians to rethink their position and also motivate the cannabis community to speak up for their rights.

The flyer for the 7/10 event in San Juan. (Photo Courtesy of the Puerto Rico Cannabis Club)

Nearly everyday it seems like a new country is announcing loosened restrictions on cannabis, and here is Puerto Rico attempting to go back several steps.

Come show your support at the Capitol on Monday, July 10. You do not need to be a cannabis patient or even enjoy weed. You just have to care about freedom, independence, the growth of the Puerto Rican economy and/or most importantly, the rights of patients.

RELATED: Here’s Why Puerto Rico Is the Newest Hot Pot Travel Spot
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