Costa Rica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) is pushing back against the country’s Law on the Production of Cannabis and Hemp for Medicinal Purposes, a proposed measure that would establish a national hemp program overseen by the Central American nation’s agriculture and health agencies. Reports Hemp Today
Usually we’d question the argument but being Costa Rica we’d suggest that this approach is quite valid and that if any country on the planet doesn’t need to produce industrial hemp it probably is Costa Rica.
Being the planet’s garden of eden there are plenty of other opportunities in alternative agriculture that the country could develop from its own endemic plant species.
MAG Minister Renato Alvarado announced his discomfort with the bill this week, suggesting the law as written runs the risk of hemp fields being grown to conceal marijuana plantations, setting the stage for “organized crime structures . . . (to) seek their base of establishment within Costa Rican borders.”
The proposed measure is meanwhile supported by the country’s President, Carlos Alvarado Quesada.
Deputies stand firm
First published in mid-September, the bill recommends putting agriculture, production, industrialization and commercialization of cannabis under the agriculture ministry, with permitting for research and academic study supervised by the Ministry of Health. The proposal would also set a framework for marijuana in medicinal and therapeutic applications.
Lawmakers were quick to respond to the MAG minister’s objections. “I respect the MAG’s position on the cannabis project but I do not share it at all,” said Paola Vega, a deputy in the legislative assembly who supports the bill. “This project is a first step. It is still a conservative project, since Costa Rica should be talking about the absolute legalization of the cannabis industry and all its uses: industrial, medicinal, recreational.