Costa Rica's congress has just passed a bill which would legalise medical cannabis.
Following three years of discussions and a presidential veto on an older iteration of the bill, Costa Rica's Congress approved a measure on Tuesday (March 1) that will allow medicinal marijuana and industrial hemp cultivation.
The measure was signed by legislators from Costa Rica's ruling party and many opposition organisations, and President Carlos Alvarado praised it as "of great benefit to Costa Rica."
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Cannabis cultivation and sale for recreational purposes will remain prohibited in Costa Rica.
The new medical marijuana bill intends to help the country's economy recover from COVID pandemic while also reducing illegal drug consumption. Cannabis producers will be required to register with health institutions and submit to drug testing by the Costa Rican Drug Institute (ICD).
In January, President Alvarado vetoed an earlier version of the law. He claimed that it needed changes to limit individual cultivation and consumption.
Alvarado might sign the amended version into law as soon as this week, according to senator Zoila Rosa Volio, who added that it included key elements of the original bill.
Volio said: "The veto did not affect the key components of this proposal, which will bring investment, generate employment, allow access to millionaire markets, and reactivate the agricultural sector."
According to Blog Cannabis, Volio Pacheco said that numerous barriers had to be overcome in order to get the project authorised owing to the subject's refusal, but that now that it has been allowed, it would be feasible to create jobs and alleviate many patients.
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Because of rising worldwide demand, Costa Rica's trade promotion agency, Procomer, has urged that the government enter the medicinal marijuana and hemp sectors.
Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter