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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Cannabis provisions should be retained in the Costa Rican Cannabis Bill

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Costa Rica appears to be preparing to ban the cultivation of marijuana in the home for medical patients, but proposed provisions to control the industrial cannabis plant will remain in place, according to changes requested by President Carlos Alvarado.

Alvarado late last week partially vetoed a proposed cannabis law that the Costa Rican legislature passed by 29-28 votes earlier this month.

All parts of the plant

The proposed law covers the cultivation, harvesting, processing, storage and transportation of medical marijuana and hemp, and makes all components of hemp legal for food and industrial purposes.

Alvarado said he is sending the bill back to the Legislative Assembly with recommendations for changes that would repeal three provisions related to “self-cultivation and self-consumption” of marijuana for medical purposes.

Despite the refusal to legalize the cultivation of marijuana at home by patients, Alvarado said he “unequivocally” supports regulated medical cannabis.

for “economic recovery”

I also support industrial hemp, as it will help agricultural production and economic recovery. Let’s make this very clear: I agree with all of these goals and I want to be able to sign this law,” Alvarado said.

The law will allow Costa Rican authorities to grant licenses to produce and manufacture cannabis for medicinal or therapeutic purposes.

But the president said a plan to legalize home cultivation of THC plants would be difficult for authorities to control, could open the door to drug abuse, and provide cover for illegal producers.

Alvarado’s pledge

The original law would have allowed patients diagnosed with chronic pain to grow their own plants. The changes made by Alvarado mean that medical cannabis must be produced in a specialized laboratory, and prescribed by a doctor.

Alvarado said he plans to get the law in place before his term ends in May. The president may not run for re-election in the general election scheduled for next Sunday, February 6, when Costa Rican presidents may not hold consecutive four-year terms.

Some stakeholders have called for the creation of a full 1.0% THC as a line that defines cannabis from marijuana, making CBD production more efficient and reducing or exceeding the threat to “hot” farmers’ crops. There is no such provision in the law, suggesting that THC limits and other guidelines would be set outside the legislation.

with reports from swissinfo.ch

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