Friday 29 September 2023

Hemp and Cannabis bill moves closer to becoming law in Costa Rica

Discussion in second and final debate slated to start on Thursday

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29 September 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica is “this” close to allowing the use of medical cannabis, given that the legislative bill was already approved in the first debate and the Constitutional Court (Sala IV) said in November last that it did not find defects of constitutionality in the bill, but it wasn’t until last Friday, January 7, that the full document of the resolution was published.

The bill now requires discussion i the Legislative Assembly, which was to have started on Monday but pushed to Thursday, and voting in second and final debate to which, if approved, could soon become law.

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However, President Carlos Alvarado, on Monday, planted doubt to what he will do, sign it or veto it, if and when the bill lands on his desk.

President Alvarado said that when the time comes, they will evaluate whether to veto (or not) the law that would allow medical cannabis in Costa Rica.

“The Government is waiting for a second debate to take place. Based on this, with the Health authorities, we will review the final text before issuing a decision. That is what it will be up to us to do,” said the president.

The legislation in question not only enables the hemp industry but also the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, authorizing the production of cannabis plants – including those with THC.

Read more: The time has come for the medical cannabis and hemp industry in Costa Rica

Last October, the Partido National Restoration obtained the ten signatures of legislators that were required consultation from the Constitutional Court, thus preventing the bill from moving to in its second debate process.

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“Conservative lawmakers” fear the bill is an endorsement for recreational marijuana use.

With the commercial exploitation of industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis, domestic farmers and exporters would have access to a global market of US$14 billion a year by 2025, according to the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER), the Agency in charge of promoting Costa Rican exportations of goods and services.



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