Friday 3 February 2023

Carlos Alvarado signed Cannabis and Hemp Law

The president's signature was less than 24 hours after legislators accepted a partial veto

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QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s president, Carlos Alvarado, signed this Wednesday the Law that seeks to promote cannabis for medicinal use and hemp for industrial purposes.

President Carlos Alvadaro applying his signature to the Cannabis and Hemp Law. Courtesy Casa Presidencial

Weeks ago the president partially vetoed the initiative. Congress accepted the partial veto, approving the initiative in second and final debate Tuesday afternoon, eliminating the two articles from the text and modifying one to follow the recommendations of the government.

After this process, the President could not veto the bill again.

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During the ceremony at Casa Presidencial on Wednesday, Alvarado referred to the benefits that the Law entails for Costa Rica and its people.

“The signing of this law demonstrates the trust in the capacity for dialogue of all the actors involved and in the political will to reach solutions in an expeditious manner,” affirmed the president.

Independent legislator, Zoila Volio, one of the deputies who proposed the bill, thanked President Carlos Alvarado for signing this bill and stressed that this initiative will give agriculture, chronic patients and others an opportunity.

“As a legislator, it will be one of the most important legacies because I believe in the project as an agricultural engineer, I believe in medicinal cannabis and I really thank President Alvarado that once we adjust the veto as he said we are already signing the law of the Republic” she exclaimed.

In detail

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This law seeks to regulate and allow access and use of cannabis and its derivatives exclusively for medicinal and therapeutic use, within the framework of the fundamental right to health.

Another objective is to authorize the production, industrialization and commercialization of hemp for industrial and food use and cannabis for exclusively medicinal and therapeutic purposes, and its derivative products.

With this initiative, it is also sought to promote economic and social development by encouraging the production, industrialization and marketing of hemp and cannabis for exclusively medicinal and therapeutic purposes, and their productive derivatives, generating productive chains that primarily benefit the small agricultural producers.

Courtesy Casa Presidencial

Partial veto

Within the framework of constitutional powers, the President sent to the President of the Legislative Assembly, Silvia Hernández, a partial veto on January 27 with objections to articles 5, 25, and 26 of Legislative Decree No. 10,113 (text of industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis approved in Congress), which regulate and authorize the domestic cultivation of cannabis.

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The changes contemplated in the partial veto issued by the Executive and accepted by the Legislative are:

  • Eliminate articles 25 and 26 of Legislative Decree number 10,113.
  • Reform ordinal 5, for which the following drafting proposal is presented:“ARTICLE 5- Authorization for the use of hemp.

Under the license system, the cultivation, production and marketing of the hemp or cannabis plant and its products or by-products for food and industrial purposes is permitted in accordance with the provisions of this law and its regulations.

“In this way, the production of industrial hemp and the development of medicines are allowed to meet the health care objectives of patients with chronic pain or others and contribute to economic reactivation,” explained the Minister of the Presidency, Geannina Dinarte.

During the dialogue process that allowed the original text to be amended, President Alvarado promised that the technical teams involved would work quickly to develop the necessary regulations for the standard.

In this sense, the president indicated that said regulation will be ready during his administration so that the application of the law occurs as soon as possible.

Protection of public health and engine of reactivation of the economy


From March 9 to 11, the International Hemp and Cannabis Summit ( Cumbre Internacional de Cáñamo y Cannabis) will be held in Costa Rica, with more than 20 national and foreign exhibitors.


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