Business opportunities in Costa Rica are expanding with the approval of the law and regulation of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic use and hemp for food

The bill with legislative file N21.388 was submitted by four proponents in May 2019. Said bill became law and has been in force since March 09, 2022 and its regulation was signed by the President of the Republic last September 7 and published on September 22 of this year.

The implementation of the Law and its Regulations in Costa Rica is a great advance after many years of political and social discussion. Despite being a very recent legal body, prior to its official implementation, the Law has already undergone a reform and approximately 42 articles are currently under discussion, with the purpose of achieving an agile application.

Authorizations or permits will be provided throughout the national territory for:

– Sowing                  – Storage

– Cultivation             – Transport

– Harvesting            – Processing

– Post-harvest         – Manufacturing

                               – Marketing

                               – Import and export

of products of sanitary interest with derivatives of non-psychoactive Cannabis or Hemp for Food and Industrial Use. It is important to highlight that, among the main points of the Regulation, it is intended that the authorizations have no cost.

Among the main points of the regulation, it is important to highlight that:

Authorizations for the cultivation and industrialization of hemp will be granted for a term of six years, counted from the date of granting, and may be renewed for equal periods, provided the interested party demonstrates due compliance with all the requirements and obligations established in Law No. 10113 and the Regulations.

Applications for authorizations shall be of the following types:

a. For the first time: prior to the commencement of the activities that are the object of the application.

b. For renewal: when it is required to continue with the same activities and under the same conditions contained in the current authorization that is about to expire. The renewal of the authorization must be requested at least 3 months prior to its expiration and for its granting the applicant must comply with the general and specific requirements and submit again the documents that have expired at the time of requesting the extension.

c. By modification: Any extension or modification of the information declared for obtaining an authorization or any modification of the activities for which the authorizations have been granted, must be requested by the holder at least 1 month in advance, for its respective authorization.

Of Applicants may opt for the following authorizations:

a. Authorization for the cultivation, production and related activities of hemp before the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock: this authorization covers from the acquisition of seeds, seedlings, cuttings or any propagation material of hemp that will be planted for its development as a crop to the delivery of plant material (stalks, seeds, leaves, buds or inflorescences) to a third party or to itself for the purpose of producing hemp byproducts or finished products for industrial purposes, for food, medicinal or therapeutic use, for domestic use and/or for export. Includes the activities of sowing, development, harvesting, importation, transportation and commercialization of hemp plants as raw material for transformation processes.

b. Authorization for the manufacture of hemp derivatives and products of sanitary interest with hemp before the Ministry of Health: This authorization includes from the reception of the hemp harvest and/or plant component in the manufacturing area to the delivery of nonpsychoactive cannabis derivatives to any third party or for itself, for the elaboration of a finished product for scientific, industrial or food use, for national use and/or for export. It includes the activities of acquisition in any title of hemp and/or plant component, the manufacture of non-psychoactive derivatives and products of health interest other than medicines, the storage, transport, use, distribution and commercialization of nonpsychoactive derivatives and products of health interest other than medicines, as well as the final disposal.

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