After a protracted back and forth, Costa Rica has finally approved medical cannabis and will be rolling out a program soon. Ticos has also passed a bill to legalize the cultivation of hemp for industrial use. Recreational use and cultivation for personal use remains prohibited. President Carlos Alvarado will be signing the bill in a few days, even as his days in office are coming to an end.
The bill which is called the “Cannabis For Medicinal And Therapeutic Use And Hemp For Food And Industrial Use In Costa Rica” has many supporters who believe that it will boost agriculture and provide employment opportunities.
Two weeks ago, President Alvaro had vetoed the cannabis bill because it contained misleading clauses that would expose the public to unnecessary health risks. The refined bill has eliminated the controversial clauses on home cultivation and personal consumption. Now the President will be comfortable signing the amended bill into law. He has commented that this new bill will be of “great benefit to Costa Rica.”
Ticos will be joining several other Latin American countries that have legalized cannabis for medical use such as Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, and Colombia. Some of these countries have also decriminalized cannabis for personal use, while Uruguay has gone all out to legalize recreational cannabis in 2013. With the medical cannabis bill, patients with long term conditions in Costa Rica will have an alternative treatment option.