QCOSTARICA – The bill presented by the government of Rodrigo Chaves to allow cannabis for recreational purposes, proposes to guarantee that it be consumed in the food or drinks sold in coffee shops or cafés.
The initiative prohibits the smoking of marijuana in these spaces but can be consumed in food or drinks, combining it with gastronomy, entertainment, and wellness activities.
Among the prohibitions, the initiative establishes that marijuana cannot be consumed in commercial premises, which includes, among others, casinos, discos, bars, nightclubs, schools, and malls or commercial centers.
What the bill does propose is the creation of “Social Clubs” for the consumption of marijuana.
“The creation of social clubs for the recreational consumption of cannabis is authorized. These clubs must comply with the registration and licensing conditions established by the regulations of this law and respecting the areas or sites prohibited for consumption,” reads article 12 of the initiative signed by the government on Wednesday.
Thus, these clubs would be sites that would have an exclusive license for that purpose.
Gerald Murray, president of the Asociación de Consumidores y Pacientes de Cannabis (Cannabis Patients and Consumers Association), questioned the number of spaces in which the smoking of marijuana would be prohibited.
According to the bill, income tax collected from this activity would be distributed 40% to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), for the purchase of medicines and care for people in palliative care.
30% would go to the Development Bank (Banca para el Desarrollo) and 10% to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), and the Instituto Costarricense sobre Drogas (ICD), respectively.
The bill also establishes (article 10), that up to six marijuana plants may be kept/grown in a home for personal consumption.
A permit or prior authorization will not be required. Of course, it is forbidden for it to be for profit, only for the consumption of those who live in the house. In case it is for commercialization, the respective permits will be needed.