Costa Rica: All that’s missing is the President’s signature to legalize medical cannabis

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The Costa Rican Congress approved last Thursday in a second and final vote the legalization of medical cannabis and industrial hemp. The text now awaits the signature of the country’s president, Carlos Alvarado, who recently expressed doubts.

By a vote of 29 votes for and 10 against, with 39 congressmen present out of the 57 members of the Legislative Assembly, the law on cannabis for medical and therapeutic uses and hemp for food and industrial uses was approved.

The next step is for President Alvarado to sign the law so that it can enter into force, but there is the possibility of a veto or partial veto, as the Ministry of Health has expressed doubts on certain points of the law . The main questioning of this initiative by the Ministry of Health during its discussion process was that it allows the self-cultivation of people diagnosed as patients.

The lawmakers behind the law urged the president to respect Congress’ decision and ratify the initiative. On January 10, Carlos Alvarado said that once the law is passed, he will “examine the final text” with the authorities of the Ministry of Health “before making a decision”.

The law will allow Costa Rican authorities to grant licenses for the production and industrialization of cannabis for medical or therapeutic purposes. In addition, the law declares free the cultivation, production, industrialization and marketing of hemp or non-psychoactive cannabis and its products or by-products, for food and industrial purposes, without prior special or additional authorization from the authorities. .

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