A study prepared by the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer), identified that Costa Rica could venture into various segments of Hemp by-products.Above all, those obtained from CBD (Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive element in Cannabis), as supplements, topical solutions, or incorporating it into food and beverages.
Likewise, the opportunity to generate products for industrial application such as bioplastics and sustainable construction is highlighted; foods like dairy, bakery products, seeds, and snacks; and personal care products such as soaps and lotions.
The study highlights that the market for plant-based products is still small, so the country has opportunities to join in; the growth of the market depends on how the regulations of the countries evolve.
Second, according to the study, there is potential for grain hemp, which can also be used in food supplements or for direct consumption of the seed, given its high nutritional value. This type of production, compared to that of CBD, is less labor intensive.
But the study indicates that these products for a specific niche, with a natural and vegan approach, could be exported to destinations such as the United States.The third productive option highlighted by the study is fiber, which has applications in bioplastics, textiles, hempcrete (a material similar to concrete) and biofuels. However, it has the lowest profitability and labor intensity and is classified as a low-price market due to the significant participation of China.
The commercialization of industrial Hemp has had a boom in recent years, for example, in 2020, the market for CBD products such as supplements and beverages is estimated at $ 1,928 million with a growth of 57% in the 2016-2020 period.The textiles market, for its part, is estimated at $ 1,248 million with an increase of 7% (mostly by China).
The legalization of Hemp in Costa Rica is a discussion that takes place within the Legislative Assembly.In mid-September, the deputies agreed to eliminate the cost of licenses for growing Hemp; while those of medicinal Cannabis for therapeutic purposes will be established by the Executive Power.
A 5% tax on the profits generated by the productions of said plant is being studied. This change is part of what is authorized in the Environment Commission, where they approved a substitute text agreed between various legislative fractions. Zoila Rosa Volio is the deputy who leads the initiative and agrees with the modifications made to her plan.