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    Tico Legislator Zoila Rosa Volio advocated for the approval of her bill on hemp and medicinal cannabis as an alternative proposal to avoid imposing new taxes. The Government raised for consideration a series of taxes to implement within the framework of the loan they seek for $ 1.75 billion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    The most recent controversy arose because of the entire proposal being made to the IMF, the Executive Branch had to see where it would obtain resources in the order of 0.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the end, the Executive Branch seeks to fill that percentage with the global income tax and tax on luxury homes.

    Hemp on the table of discussion

    But the previous week, during a meeting in which Volio participated with the ministers Geannina Dinarte and Pilar Garrido of the Presidency and Planning, respectively, she put her initiative on the table. “I told them why not promote the cannabis project, with these projects the economy can be reactivated and employment generated,” she said.

    Proposition

    The previous May 4, President Carlos Alvarado promised to promote this initiative, although focused on Hemp. However, the bill has not enjoyed the support to be convened in extraordinary sessions that are headed by the Presidential office.

    “They have told me that it causes doubt”, stressed the independent deputy. “Why don’t they encourage discussion and what if they don’t like something to change it?” Volio claimed, since the, “Law of Cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic use and of hemp for food and industrial use” implements taxes as well as the payment of licenses for government entities.

    With great potential

    The Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer) published a study last October that reveals the hemp by-products that Costa Rica could exploit. The report indicates the following: “Those products obtained from CBD (cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive element in cannabis) as supplements, topical solutions, or incorporating it into food and beverages, also Industrial application products such as bioplastics and sustainable construction materials, foods like dairy, bakery products, seeds, and snacks, personal care products like soaps and lotions, textiles such as clothing and uniforms.

    “Of the above by-products, there are comparatively more favorable indicators for the commercialization of products with CBD application in goods such as supplements, topical solutions, food and beverages,” said Procomer.

    “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 adequate yields per hectare are achieved”, added the Promoter. The study also highlights the potential of grain hemp that can be used for food supplements or for direct consumption of the seed.

    In 2020, the commercialization of CBD products was estimated at $ 1,928 million worldwide, which translates into a growth of 57% in the 2016-2020 period, according to Procomer. Among the large producers of hemp, China, Canada as well as Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador and Paraguay stand out; the latter in Latin America.

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