The deputies of the Costa Rican National Assembly Environmental Commission finished adjusting the text of the project that endorses the use of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp production in the country and agreed to establish a 1% tax on the income obtained from the activities and products of medicinal cannabis .
After knowing the 82 motions that were presented to the bill, the legislators defined that the resources collected from this tax will be used for the supervision and control that the authorities of the Ministry of Public Security and the Costa Rican Insurance Fund must do. Social Security (CCSS) on these products, such as that Public Security can carry out inspection and control tasks.
The independent deputy Paola Vega, who chairs the Environment Commission, explained that although she would have wanted a higher tax in line with the international trend, at least a tribute was achieved that she described as symbolic.
“I would have liked a higher tax, more to the cut, of the discussions worldwide, where the cannabis tax is around 30%, something very symbolic was left, such as a surcharge,” she said.
The sowing of hemp is free for anyone to do it and in the case of cannabis, licenses will be required for the production that will be granted by the Ministry of Health. It is also established that 30% of these licenses will be reserved for associations of small producers, cooperatives and small rural enterprises.
“The objective is to ensure a better distribution of licenses and that they are not concentrated in privileged groups and large companies,” explained the liberationist deputy Roberto Thompson, also a member of the commission.
Free trade zone
Another approved motion is that companies that are dedicated to the industrialization of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic purposes can settle in Free Zones. According to the legislators with this they seek to attract investment under the benefits regime granted by these industrial zones.
It should be noted that these companies will enjoy all the exceptions of the Free Zones regime, but they will have to pay the “symbolic” tax of 1%. In the case of self-cultivation, this will be allowed as long as the person demonstrates that it is for medicinal or therapeutic use, and not for recreational consumption.
Vega added that this law does not resolve the issue of a person wanting to plant their own marijuana in small quantities for a personal issue. “I believe that we must now move towards the absolute legalization of recreational cannabis,” added Vega.
Before the extraordinary session
Thompson indicated that there is a great consensus among the parties not to reiterate motions in the plenary, which would cause the project to be discussed directly in the first debate.
“As the Government has been so prudish on this issue and full of prejudices and has not dared to convene the project in extraordinary sessions and we foresee that it will not do so, then the expectation is to approve it in the two debates in this month of October”, Thompson stated.
Deputy Vega also believes that the project should be approved before November when a new period of extraordinary sessions begins, since the Executive Branch continues with a “rather clumsy” vision of the use of this industry.