Costa Rica’s President, Rodrigo Chaves, signed into law new regulations permitting the medical and therapeutic use of cannabis.
Additionally, the new cannabis laws in Costa Rica pave the way to develop the country’s commercial cannabis capabilities.
On Friday 30th September, the long-awaited legislation came to pass at a signing ceremony at the Government Council in Puntarenas.
President Chaves wasted no time in progressing these policies through parliament following his election in April 2022, outlining his plans for the plant in a speech delivered marking his first 100 days in office.
During the August press conference, President Chaves let it be known that his office was already drafting the cannabis bill, declaring that “we want to present it to the Legislative Assembly before November 1st, when the extraordinary sessions begin, and we will try to persuade the legislators that this is the best public policy for the country”.
The Reason Behind New Cannabis Laws in Costa Rica
The new laws aim to provide a boost to the country’s economy and stimulate employment opportunities, create thousands of jobs domestically.
Moreover, the change in policy will legalize the economic activity that is currently operated through the illicit markets, blunting the power of criminal groups and gangs.
“Marijuana is consumed in this country, openly in many cases. Well, it is not paying taxes; we are fattening the pockets of criminals and, therefore, giving them cars and weapons”, highlighted the President in his August press conference.
He continued: “But when one weighs the scientific evidence, the international experience of many countries, the teaching of alcohol prohibition in the early 1900s; when one sees the possibilities of regulation, the options of funding the IAFA, especially to get thousands of people out of jail for minor offenses and to take away the enormous profits of criminal groups, we consider it to be the best for the country”.
The new bill is touted to be closely followed by subsequent legal changes, permitting the use of recreational cannabis in Costa Rica.
President Chaves was bullish in emphasising the importance for Costa Rica to become a player in the global cannabis industry, stating that “you have to take advantage of it, you have to get to work and export”.
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