Azucarera Nacional Will Install Medicinal Cannabis Plant in Costa Rica after Agreement with Investment Firm

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    The national company Azucarera El Viejo will install a world-class cultivation, manufacturing and production plant for finished medical cannabis products on its land in Guanacaste. The decision comes after an agreement with Mérida Capital Holdings LLC, a cannabis private equity firm with more than 75 companies in its portfolio, which made the announcement official last Wednesday.

    The project is expected to start in 2023. Mérida anticipates employing up to 200 people in its first phase, but could exceed 500 employees by the end of the third year.

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    Law approval

    According to a statement issued by Mérida Capital Holdings, the step is taken after the approval of file No. 21,388, whose law legalized the use of cannabis for medical and therapeutic purposes. Due to this, Costa Rica is in the process of creating regulations on medicinal cannabis and hemp as a food additive.

    “Docket No. 21,388 is specifically designed to offer the population of Costa Rica an alternative to traditional pharmaceutical products by allowing patients to have access to medicinal cannabis as a treatment for a variety of ailments and conditions, as well as therapeutic use for those with chronic conditions”, the firm said in a statement.

    El Viejo would thus reinforce its leadership position in the agricultural production industry by adding medical cannabis to its product portfolio. “We are delighted to partner with Mérida and to bring world-class industry knowledge and experience to our production in Costa Rica”, said Alfonso Gómez, Vice President of Azucarera El Viejo, in the letter.

    Boost to the industry

    El Viejo and Mérida intend to create a sustainable cultivation and production campus whose goal is to help smaller operators bring products to market. “El Viejo’s presence as a respected and established operator in both the agricultural and finished goods industries is a perfect complement to Merida’s focus on medical cannabis”, said Mitch Baruchowitz, partner and manager of Merida Capital Holdings.

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