In Costa Rica, medical cannabis is permitted, but the use of marijuana for recreational purposes is still banned.
Carlos Alvarado, the president of Costa Rica, approved a law permitting the therapeutic and medical use of marijuana in March 2022. It follows numerous other Latin American nations that have legalized medical marijuana, thus Costa Rica is now following suit.
Industrial hemp production and cultivation are now permitted as a result of the bill. Cannabis will be governed by legislation and made available for therapeutic and medical purposes. The bill declares that Costa Ricans’ fundamental right to health includes access to medical marijuana.
Although the use of marijuana for medical purposes is permitted, commercial marijuana production and sales remain prohibited. Carrying more than a tiny amount of marijuana is likewise prohibited. The amount of marijuana that constitutes a small dose is not specifically defined by Costa Rica’s drug possession laws.
Due to the fact that personal consumption is exempt from criminal consequences, it has been determined that limited amounts of personal consumption are acceptable in private settings.
Additionally, there is no established system in place in Costa Rica for dealing with cannabis possession. They typically confiscate the drug but don’t make an arrest if they find little amounts (between one and eight grams). Larger quantities that suggest dealing or supply are more likely to result in a formal arrest.
Medical Marijuana Laws In Costa Rica
Cannabis must be obtained through authorized channels, such as pharmacies. Residents who desire access to it must get a prescription from a physician.
Companies that want to grow medical marijuana must register with the relevant national health agencies and adhere to a number of additional legal requirements.
There is some ambiguity regarding how these significant changes will be put into effect and upheld because they are so recent. These regulations in Costa Rica are currently evolving; many details need to be worked out.
What Should You Understand About Medical Marijuana in Costa Rica?
In order to obtain medical marijuana in Costa Rica, one must see a physician who will write a prescription. Patients may receive this through typical pharmacies.
Visitors are not permitted to use or import medical marijuana, and Costa Rica does not recognize prescriptions from other nations.
Telemedicine Isnât Allowed
The legalization of medical marijuana was only recently put into effect, and Costa Rica’s telemedicine business has not yet grown.
No Current Employment Protections
The use of medical cannabis in the workplace is still not protected by Costa Rican law. Many details of the bill’s implementation are still being worked out, despite its recent bill.
Medical Cannabis Product Testing
Medical marijuana growers in Costa Rica are required to register with a number of national health organizations and submit to inspections by the country’s drug agency (ICD). Specific testing criteria do not yet appear to be in place, but the business as a whole is probably heavily regulated.
There are Few Safe Places to Buy Marijuana
It is illegal to buy marijuana for recreational use. Pharmacy access to marijuana is legal for those with a prescription, but any other means of accessing marijuana is prohibited by law.
There are several places to get CBD in Costa Rica, and as long as it doesn’t contain THC, there are no restrictions on its selling.
Despite the fact that marijuana is prohibited in Costa Rica, anecdotal evidence suggests that the country has a relaxed attitude toward it. A general tolerance for getting marijuana is also indicated by the fact that it is not technically unlawful for people to possess small amounts of marijuana (even if they do not have a prescription).
Public Cannabis Use Is Prohibited
If you have a prescription, you can safely use marijuana in your house in Costa Rica, but it’s against the law to use it in public. Despite this, it’s doubtful that having a little amount of marijuana on your person without a prescription will get you in trouble.
Can You Grow Marijuana In Costa Rica?
Growing for one’s own consumption is prohibited. Companies that seek to grow medical marijuana are required to register and agree to a number of requirements and inspections.
Although it appears to be technically illegal, some medical marijuana patients have claimed that the law favors growing for personal use. However, if they have a cannabis prescription and are cultivating little amounts, it is unlikely that offenders will face harsh punishments.
Terms of the New Cannabis Regulations
- The law regulates the growth, harvesting, processing, storing, and transportation of hemp and medical marijuana.
- The Minister of Agriculture will control the hemp market.
- The medical cannabis industry will be governed by the minister of health.
- A permit is required for Costa Ricans who want to obtain medical cannabis.
- Anyone who grows medical marijuana must register with the relevant national health organizations. Additionally, they must submit to both unexpected and expected inspections by the Costa Rican Drug Institute (ICD).
- All hemp products are acceptable for use in food and industry.
- Under 1% THC must be detected in hemp products.
- Regulations for travelers with medical licenses from their native countries are not covered by the new law.
- In order to trace items across the entire production chain, from seed to sale, tracing systems will be gradually introduced.
- Home cultivation is prohibited. All cannabis used for medical purposes must be grown in a licensed facility and be prescribed by a physician.
- For the illicit production or sale of the plant, unlicensed cultivators risk a prison sentence of six to twelve years.
- The amount of the license fee will depend on the type and size of the business.
- Both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock will invest all tax revenues they receive back into national organizations, law enforcement, and compliance control.
- The Ministry of Health will issue permits for research activities, with terms and conditions based on the type of research.
- Business and cultivation licenses are good for six years, however, they can be renewed following a review period.
- Each citizen is only allowed to have one company license and one cultivation license.
In conclusion, the cannabis market offers Costa Rica a major chance to profit from a developing international market and deliver enormous social and health advantages for its population.
Although there are dangers involved in entering this market, the new law gives a deliberate and all-encompassing regulatory strategy that may serve to lessen these risks.