The President of Costa Rica announced: We are going to move forward with legalization, we are going to set up an industry
Costa Rica's president has said he intends to submit a recreational cannabis law to the Legislative Assembly and release, separately, the rules for the country's medical cannabis and hemp businesses.
Rodrigo Chaves, elected president in April, laid out his plans in a speech marking his first 100 days in office, according to the Tico Times. The president said his administration was preparing regulations for medical marijuana and the cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes, which the country legalized before Chaves took office.
Regulations, seen as the boundaries for businesses and consumers, determine the size of any potential new legal cannabis market, so entrepreneurs will be watching closely what those rules allow and don't allow.
But during his presidential campaign, Chaves said he supported the legalization and regulation of recreational cannabis.
"We have prepared the regulation of industrial hemp for medicinal use, and we will promote the bill for the legalization of marihuana for recreational use," the president said in his speech.
According to Chaves, the initiative will be sent to Congress for discussion. Likewise, he also claimed that his administration would soon release the medical cannabis regulations, which the previous Congress approved.
Nonetheless, the president did not provide specific details on how recreational marijuana would be regulated.
The proposal takes no one by surprise; during the campaign, Rodrigo Chaves stated that he agreed with the legalization of marihuana and that he would push forward the necessary reforms.
Chaves had also said there was scientific evidence to support the decision. In addition, he explained the case of several countries that have legalized it and achieved good results.
In 2021, former Congressman Enrique Sanchez also introduced a bill that sought to decriminalize the recreational use of cannabis. Lawmakers did not support it at that time.
Getting this project approved will not be an easy task. The proposal still generates a lot of negative reactions in some sectors, and some political parties have opposed the legalization of marihuana in the past.
The reactions of Costa Ricans are divided: some think that legalization is the best option, others think that it is not the best choice for the country.