“With the approval of this cannabis bill, the aim is to regulate the activities and it will be possible to control the payment of taxes, generating greater employment opportunities,” said President Rodrigo Chaves.
If Costa Rica approves the legalization of the planting, commercialization and consumption of cannabis, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) would have to promote our country as a destination to smoke and consume products derived from the cannabis plant.
A tourist destination for responsible consumption
The initiative presented by President Rodrigo Chaves in November of last year includes in article 52 the obligation for the ICT. Specifically, the project indicates that the ICT “will establish information campaigns at the international level to promote Costa Rica as a tourist destination for responsible consumption.”
More tourists, a new source of income for the State, greater foreign investment and the generation of new jobs, are some of the positive elements that would emerge from this criminal law reform, according to businessmen and experts consulted.
“In the United States, recreational cannabis is allowed in several states, as well as in Canada, in the same way in Europe several countries have made this decision. On the other hand, in practically all the countries of the world marijuana is present, albeit illegally, not now, but for centuries. With this we wants to tell Costa Ricans that the recreational cannabis market amounts to about $15 billion or $20 billion a year,” said Roy Thompson, president of the Costa Rican Hemp and Cannabis Council.
Some voices against
The proposal is rejected by some legislators such as David Segura of Nueva República, who rather warns of a negative impact. “This reminds me that in the past, for example, PAC deputies said that by approving marriage equality tourism would benefit the nation and that did not happen. In Costa Rica, the tourism that generates the most foreign currency and attracts people is family tourism, so don’t think that promoting recreational cannabis internationally will benefit Costa Rica”, said Segura.
“With the approval of this project, it is intended to regulate the activities and it will be possible to control the payment of taxes, in turn generating greater employment opportunities with new businesses for Costa Ricans. On the other hand, consumers will be able to acquire marijuana safely, without exposing themselves to violence or drug trafficking,” said President Chaves.
These are the main points of the proposal:
• Minors may not consume or buy
• The Ministry of Health will grant the operating permits to elaborate, collect, distribute, industrialize and sell psychoactive cannabis.
• The creation of specialized sites is authorized, where customers can consume products derived from the plant.
• Possession of 30 grams of marijuana for personal consumption is allowed.
• Self-cultivation of six plants per house
• Cost of licenses will be defined via official study