Puerto Rico Invests in Cannabis, Celebrities and Crypto

Puerto Rico's capital building

Puerto Rico's capital building

Hurricane Maria has had a devastating impact on Puerto Rico. Although the one-year anniversary of the hurricane is on September 20th, the island has yet to recover with full power.

One-third of the homes were damaged and 3,000 were killed in the massive storm.

But Puerto Rico's economy was already struggling prior to the hurricane.

"Puerto Rico’s gross national product contracted about 7 percent in the 12 months ended June 30," writes "Bloomberg." "The government’s free-spending ways and easy access to Wall Street money collided with the economic downturn, triggering a $74 billion bankruptcy."

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Puerto Rico was a hub for pharmaceutical companies due to an enticing federal tax provision. But when it phaseout in 2006, most of the companies left.

To help the U.S. territory bounce back, Governor Ricardo Rosselló sees potential in blockchain technology. He has formed the blockchain advisory council to help foster this type of business.

Besides financial technology, Rosselló is investing government resources also into the medical marijuana industry, along with the movie business.

The Island's craft brewing scene is also heating up. It has been the first region to adopt the Independent Craft Brewer Seal with 100 percent acceptance.

“We want to put some of our biggest bets in some of these areas and direct incentives toward what has the greatest return,” said Rosselló.

In July, the governor leased government-owned land to the British entrepreneur Keith St. Clair to build a $70 million film studio. St. Clair, along with filmmakers, staff, and talent will also be given tax credits while filming on the Island.

"The governor’s office projects the 180,000-square-foot Puerto Rico Film District will create more than 1,325 direct and indirect jobs, plus 350 in the construction phase. It will have sound studios, dressing rooms, conference areas, and editing and postproduction capacity," writes "Bloomberg." "The government said it hoped to build on the $256 million in income the industry generated in the previous 18 months."

Celebrities like Nicolas Cage and Anne Hathaway have recently filmed on the Island.

Will investments in these lucrative industries help Puerto Rico bounce back?

Read more about the governor's plans to relive the Island's economy at "Bloomberg."