The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice notified the Legislative Assembly that the draft Law on Cannabis for Medicinal and Therapeutic Use and Hemp for Food and Industrial Use, file 21,388, does not present any of the procedural or substantive unconstitutionalities that they were alleged by a group of deputies. With this decision, Chamber IV gave the green light for the initiative to continue its advance in the Legislative Assembly. Before the resolution, the Executive Power immediately included this initiative on the Congress agenda for discussion in a second debate.
“Given the resolution issued this Tuesday by the Constitutional Chamber, in which it indicates that there are no unconstitutionalities in the bill on Cannabis for Medicinal and Therapeutic Use and Hemp for Food and Industrial use (file 21,388), the Executive Branch presents immediately the call for this initiative in the period of extraordinary sessions, so that once the full sentence arrives, it will proceed with its process,” said Geannina Dinarte Romero, Minister of the Presidency.
“We urge the Legislative Assembly to continue with the approval of the public employment project, as well as with other initiatives that are fundamental for the country, both in terms of economic reactivation and consolidation of the fiscal route, which are in plenary legislative,” she added.
If the project is approved, the only thing missing is the signature of President Carlos Alvarado and the publication in the Official Gazette La Gaceta for it to come into force.
The first vote obtained the support of 33 legislators while 13 voted against the latter from the National Restoration, National Integration, New Republic and Independent Shirley Díaz benches.
The bill would declare free the cultivation, production, industrialization, commercialization of non-psychoactive hemp or cannabis and its products or by-products, for food and industrial purposes, without special or additional prior authorization from the authorities.
For what activities
In addition, the use and exploitation in the national territory of cannabis for medical and therapeutic purposes would be authorized, solely and exclusively, to carry out the following activities:
- The production, including the sowing, cultivation, harvesting, storage, transportation and distribution, as well as the production and importation of seed of cannabis varieties for:
- Its sale as raw material to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) or to laboratories or establishments duly authorized in accordance with this law for the industrialization, manufacture and marketing of products for medical or therapeutic use in the national territory; or for export to third countries where legal trade in these products is allowed.
- Its direct industrialization by the same producer for the development and marketing of products for medical or therapeutic use, authorized in accordance with this law. In this case, the producer must also have the respective enabling title to carry out industrialization activities of cannabis-derived products for medical or therapeutic use.
- The elaboration or industrialization, storage, transportation, distribution and commercialization of medicines, cosmetics, essential oils and other products for medical or therapeutic use duly authorized in accordance with this law, from cannabis plants, their by-products and derivatives.
- The Costa Rican Social Security (CCSS) may grant product purchase contracts to organizations, associations, cooperatives or any other entity that complies with the provisions of Law No. 8262, Law for the Strengthening of Small and Medium Enterprises.
To carry out the aforementioned activities, interested persons will require prior authorization by obtaining the respective enabling title granted by the competent authority, in accordance with this law. All authorized activities will be subject to the control, surveillance, supervision and periodic inspection of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Costa Rican Institute on Drugs within the scope of their powers.
Licenses for the cultivation and industrialization of cannabis for medical or therapeutic purposes will be granted for a period of six years and may be renewed for equal periods, at the request of the licensee and after demonstrating that it complies with all the requirements and obligations established in the law and its regulation. The term of research permits and the procedure for their renewal will be regulated in the regulations of this law, according to the type of research in question.
The initiative authorizes the CCSS, in conjunction with public and private universities, to carry out research and produce in its laboratories medicines and products for therapeutic use authorized by the Ministry of Health, using psychoactive cannabis, its extracts and derivatives; as well as to receive, buy, process and distribute cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic use, its products, by-products and derivatives.
In addition, the Fund is authorized to include, based on technical studies, drugs and products for therapeutic use with cannabinoids in its official drug lists and to deliver them to insured persons, according to the prescription of the medical professional in charge of their treatment.