The discussion of the project on the bill that would allow the legalization of the cultivation of hemp and the production of cannabis sativa for medicinal purposes will take place this year. Bill 21. 388, the Law on the Production of Cannabis and Hemp for Medicinal Purposes, was positively ruled on November 11 by the Environment Commission of the Legislative Assembly, with seven votes in favor and two against.
The purpose of the project is to “Regulate and allow access and use of cannabis and its derivatives exclusively for medicinal and therapeutic use, in order to guarantee the fundamental right to health of the entire Costa Rican population.” In addition, “Authorize the production and commercialization of hemp for industrial and food use”, according to the wording of the proposal.
Joint political support
The Executive Power has not convened this project to the legislative plenary, however in November of last year the liberationist deputies Roberto Thompson and Paola Valladares, the deputy Paola Vega of the Citizen Action Party (PAC), the independent deputy Zoila Volio and the Social Christian María Inés Solís asked the Government to summon it.
In addition, the liberationist Ana Lucía Delgado showed her support for the project by congratulating her colleague Volio and stating that “this project will bring new opportunities for employment and economic development.”
The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Renato Alvarado expressed his opposition to the bill: “I am going to answer with all the frankness in the world, personally in my family we have had problems with the issue of drug addiction from the consumption of marijuana. I have an aversion to the subject because it worries me because I have seen complex situations in society and in the family,” Alvarado said in November.
In addition, the Presidential Office sent a letter to the commission in which it stated that they would not agree with the legalization of cannabis and indicated the partial rejection of the bill. “For reasons of public health and safety, in the current environment, the Executive Power does not consider the legalization or commercialization of the cultivation of Cannabis Sativa L (also known as marijuana) appropriate, a variety of the plant that has psychoactive capacity, since, currently, the State does not have the resources that the control of its production, commercialization and consumption would require to ensure that it does not end up affecting public health and citizen security,”stated the letter sent. Conservative deputies have also expressed their opposition to the project.
Procomer in favor
This bill was proposed by the independent deputy Zoila Rosa Volio and according to the Promotora del Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (Procomer), “there are comparatively more favorable indicators for the commercialization of products with application of CBD in goods such as supplements, topical solutions, food and drinks”.
In addition, Procomer pointed out that, “although the cultivation associated with the extraction of CBD requires a higher initial investment, other indicators favor it, such as a greater intensity of labor and better profitability, as long as the yields are achieved, per hectare,” they stated.