Puerto Rico's Health Department has adopted a regulation that will allow for the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of medical marijuana in the U.S. territory.

Officials say the substance can be used in forms including pills, creams, patches and oral drops. Authorities stress that smoking marijuana and cultivating it for personal use remains illegal.

The Health Department said Thursday that it will implement a seed-to-sale inventory tracking system. It will also award licenses to doctors and to private companies that seek to cultivate and manufacture medicinal marijuana. Officials say samples must be sent to independent labs to ensure they contain the correct amounts of THC and are free of contaminants.

Public Affairs Secretary Jesus Manuel Ortiz says the system should be in place by year's end.

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