Costa Rica Releases Technical Criteria for Medical Marijuana

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – This week, the Costa Rica Health Ministry delivered its findings on a pending bill to legalize medical marijuana and hemp for medical and industrial use in Costa Rica.

    On June 2, 2015, the Ministry of Health released the technical criteria for Regulation and Control of Cannabis and hemp plants for medical use, following a study of the Draft Law No. 19,256.

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    The following technical criteria were released:

    (It) declare(d) cannabis and hemp plants prohibited for recreational, tourism and marketing; according to the “Law on Narcotics, Psychotropic Substances, Drugs of Unauthorized Use, Related Activities, Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism” (8204 Act).

    Research Institute, Regulation and Control of Cannabis and Hemp (IICBA) must be attached to the Ministry of Health and cannot regulate research or registering products, since the Ministry of Health is the health authority.

    Research of medical, therapeutic and nutritional use of cannabis and hemp plants cannot be monopolized; because of the existing 9234 Law “regulating Biomedical Research”, which aims to regulate biomedical research involving human subjects in health, in public and private sectors.

    Established criteria used for the production and marketing of medicines, food and other industries must comply with current regulations, both national and international such as; operations related to good manufacturing practices, distribution and storage, good agricultural practices, and any other regulations. The IICBA must have control of the production and marketing of these products exclusively.

    The Supervisory Board is responsible Drugs and Narcotics Control planting cannabis, according to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

    It is not a requirement to keep track of patients licensed for the use of Cannabinoids. Those drugs are prescribed to be a discriminatory act, prescriptions recorded in the medical records and are controlled by special recipes for that purpose defined by the Ministry of Health, which are sold in pharmacies and are controlled by the Ministry of Health (Regulations for the Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Drugs).

    Cannabis products are to be authorized to treat diseases or extreme health problems, scientifically justified within a medical practice as a last resort, after having exhausted the existing therapeutic options.

    Dispensaries cannot be created for marketing and control of psychotropic products, since the only establishments where the sale of psychotropic and narcotic drugs pharmacies are allowed to charge is a pharmacist Regent.

    Information campaigns and education are required for the population, clarifying its use, in order to avoid confusion in the perception of that law.

    Additionally, the Ministry of Health explained that currently there is no prohibition to register and commercialize drugs, food and cosmetics based on cannabis while complying with the current regulations to ensure the identity, safety, quality, and efficiency for the purposes prescribed use, according to the scientific evidence agricultural applications and good manufacturing practices, clinics, medical and any regulation that is (currently) valid.

    For the full media release: Costa Rica Technical Criteria for Medical Marijuana

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
    San Jose, Costa Rica

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