The expectations for the benefits that the legalization of hemp for industrial purposes and medical cannabis would bring are still pending, since the implementation of the law hardly adjusts to the reality of the country.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) confirmed that two licenses for hemp production have already been granted. There are at least five more pending and according to the Minister, VíctorCarvajal, they hope to generate more permits this month.In the case of cannabis, there are still no permits enabled and according to the official the situation is more complex.The projects, at the moment are small because they are still in the research phase; in addition to the fact that there are inputs that are not yet available.
Defining the details
“They have to define which are the varieties that are suitable for cultivation in different areas,” noted the Minister.”We have some issues with seed that it has not been possible to import the hemp seed to cultivate, so we are following up on this issue that is important to us and see how it will work to provide traceability, once the seed is imported and nationalized”, he closed.
In previous September, the agreement was announced between the Costa Rican company Azucarera El Viejo and the private equity firm Merida Capital Holdings LLC to install a hemp and cannabis production plant on land located in Guanacaste (AFP).
Adjustments to the hemp and cannabis law?
The hemp and cannabis law was finally approved in March of last year. This after years of debate, consultations in Room IV and even a veto of the initial plan by the previous PAC Government.For its execution, a regulation was needed, which was in place in September and now, areas for improvement have been identified.
“The law puts a lot of rigor and many procedures that if it were up to us, perhaps they would not be there”, highlighted the Minister. “What we have left is to simplify the procedures as much as possible,” he adds.From the experience that is being achieved, eventual reforms could be assessed.
“We have to wait a little longer to see how they evolve with the new changes to the regulation and if necessary, we consider that it would be important”, highlights the minister.
To this he also added that the bill to legalize recreational marijuana that is currently in Congress could bring changes in the sector and cover areas along the same lines.
In the eyes of the world
At the market level, the legalization of hemp and cannabis also has an important economic and investment projection.As the bill pointed out, derivative products can have a reach of up to 1,000 million people.
The New Frontier Data platform, dedicated to studying and researching the cannabis industry in 80 countries, points out that at least the legal cannabis market is estimated at around $150 billion a year worldwide.
Regarding hemp, the value was estimated at up to $3.610 million in 2020, according to the consultancy Grand View Research. Business interest in production appeared in national companies, but the news of legalization also attracted interest abroad.
According to CINDE, in charge of attracting investment, to date there are 10 companies that have shown interest in taking advantage of the window; Some of them have already passed to the exploratory phase.
The companies come from the United States, Colombia and Ireland. Cinde added that visits have been made to those first two countries – which had already completed legalization – to acquire more knowledge and take advantage of the new platform to attract more.