In recent posts, we’ve explored legislative developments regarding cannabis in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Today, we turn our attention to Central America, and specifically Costa Rica, where a bill that seeks to legalize medical cannabis is winding its way through the legislative process.

The bill was originally introduced by Zoila Rosa Volio in March of last year, but has since stalled. Based on comments by Volio, bureaucratic ineptitude is mostly to blame (“the MAG [Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock] is like the Bermuda Triangle”), though opposition from some deputies on religious grounds appears to have also played a role (“I do not believe that a cannabis plant is a sin … because it is God’s work”).

However, the economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have provided new impetus for the bill. As Volio points out, “It would be a project to generate employment. There are many companies that are bankrupt that could start producing these types of products. They could come together and plant hemp and establish a safe market where their product can be placed.”

In addition to the possible boost to its agricultural sector, Volio suggests Costa Rica could become a cannabis R&D cluster. Given

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