The Cannabis Industry, a Great Opportunity for Economic Reactivation in Costa Rica

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    After several years of legislative process, our authorities approved the Law that allows the production and industrialization of hemp and medicinal cannabis in Costa Rica. This industry fully coincides with the DNA of our productive sector, the land, work, agricultural activity, industrialization and especially, the distribution of wealth in the largest number of Costa Ricans.

    As reflected in the wide range of activities where the sector is a leader, in this new industry, we seek not only to participate but also to compete. This ability to compete reflects once again our skills for innovation, consistency and especially adaptability to international markets, their standards and regulations. Today, the Government of the Republic has marked a north in the sense of promoting economic reactivation in our country and this industry will be one of those fundamental pillars.

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    It is on the issue of economic reactivation, where the establishment of regulations by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Public Health will be transcendental. Said regulations must be a faithful reflection of the spirit of the Law approved by the Legislative Assembly, without irrational restrictions or requirements and, in particular, that respond to the designs of the markets to which we aspire to place our products and, therefore, similar to those countries of origin where the markets are located.

    Largest Producers

    In the case of the hemp industry, the 4 largest producing countries are China, with 101,171  hectares in production, Canada with 53,013, the United States with 31,636 and France with 17,401. Similarly, the main markets that acquire hemp and its products are essentially the same.

    Main consumers

    Regarding cannabis, the 5 largest consumers in the world, projected for the year 2024, are the United States with 30.1 billion dollars of demand, Canada with 5.1 billion dollars, Germany with 1.3 billion, Mexico with 1.02 billion and the United Kingdom with 546 million of demand dollars.

    As we can see, our natural market seems to be North America and Europe, unless we intend to export hemp and cannabis products to the world’s largest producer, China. This situation should make us reflect on what regulatory models we should analyze, since the logical thing would be to adapt cultivation, processing and manufacturing regulations similar to those required in the main markets and producing countries.

    In this way, avoiding regulations that are far from reality and the evolution of the global market that could have devastating effects on large, medium, and small entrepreneurs and cooperatives, as well as scare away foreign investment.

    A golden opportunity

    Today the Government of the Republic has a golden opportunity to provide a development tool to Costa Ricans. We trust in the technical severity and in the alignment and synchronization of the technical bodies of the ministries with the Law approved by the first Power of the Republic and we join this new air of progress for the country’s process.

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    1. I’m sorry to see my adopted country of Costa Rica go down the same path as my primary home state, California. As a doctor who specifically served law enforcement for 25 years, I have seen how “medicinal” cannabis is chronically misused – the leading recommendation in CA was (prior to legalization) for anxiety and/or depression. Two conditions in which psychotropic use of cannabis is contraindicated (in most cases it makes the condition worse when not high). I suspect this legislative decision is, as are many national and state lotteries, an attempt to grow national (tax) revenue. I believe it will cost my beloved Costa Rica as users become unmotivated, and dependent and we see a corresponding decrease in educational attainment (FYI I don’t see it as a gateway drug, however).


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