President Alvarado formally announced what many people had already expected, when he partially vetoed the bill that would legalize the trade and cultivation of medical cannabis and industrial hemp in Costa Rica. Congress had approved the production and processing of cannabis for medicinal purposes in October.
In his response he made clear that he does want to sign the bill but that certain adjustments must be made before he will do so. In his prepared statement he noted:
“I want to say categorically that I support medical cannabis. This is to alleviate people with various diseases and I even have close and very dear people who need it. And I also support industrial hemp, because it will help agricultural production and economic revival. Let’s make this very clear: I agree with all these objectives and I want to be able to sign this law”.
More specifically parts of the bill that he wants to see modified are based on “technical criteria” such as the self-consumption and self-cultivation of cannabis that he said must be resolved, in order to avoid undermining the “legitimate” objectives of the bill and without putting public health and public safety at risk.
Since the legislature is in recess today and will not be back until February 7, the final decision of the medical cannabis law and the hemp industry won’t be decided until after the election, which one might think is not a coincidence.
It should be noted that the medicinal use and production of cannabis and hemp is legal in more than 20 countries, with a pre-pandemic global market of 1 billion people.
For our readers who understand Spanish, here are his remarks: