After three years of debates in Congress, Costa Rican MPs on Thursday approved the legalization of the cultivation, production, industrialization and marketing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
“With great satisfaction, after a very long road and many delays, the project is approved”, announced the deputy behind the initiative, Zoila Volio. This decision “will generate an economic recovery, it will open up opportunities for the country and generate investment and jobs,” he said. But the most important thing is that patients get quality medicine at a reasonable price to have a quality of life. ”
According to activist Isaac Amador, the father of a child with cerebral palsy who uses cannabis oil to relieve his epilepsy, some 3,500 people in the country are using such products for medical reasons. According to him, so far, many families of these patients procure the products clandestinely, buy them abroad or, like him, produce them themselves at home.
An activity authorized in 20 countries
A study by the Costa Rican state agency Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer) indicated that by 2025, the global market for hemp and medicinal cannabis will be worth 35 billion dollars (30.50 billion euros) per year.
Worldwide, more than 20 countries allow this activity, including several in Latin America, such as Argentina, Chile, Panama, Mexico and Colombia.
In Costa Rica, it now only remains for President Carlos Alvarado to affix his signature to bring the law into force. The president has expressed his support for the project in the past. It nevertheless has a right of veto.
For the production of plants and their derivatives, producers will have to register with the State and declare their activities to the authorities.