What are the Latest Developments in Costa Rica’s Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp Regulations?

Costa Rica has recently made significant strides in the legalization and regulation of hemp and cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. After over three years of legislative efforts, the country has legalized the production and commercialization of hemp, as well as cannabis for medicinal uses. Despite this progress, the government’s promise to publish implementing regulations, particularly those concerning the import and export of value-added cannabis products, by May 8, seems unlikely to be fulfilled.

The possession, purchase, and sale of marijuana and related products remain illegal in Costa Rica. The laws are stringent, with severe penalties for human trafficking and child exploitation. The country’s criminal justice system recorded various offenses in 1993, including 504 murder cases, 203 forcible rapes, 4,250 robberies, 60 arsons, and numerous drug offenses. Notably, there were 16 cases of marijuana possession, 90 of marijuana cultivation, and 104 related to other illegal drugs.

The initial version of the law, proposed in January, faced obstacles due to provisions allowing Costa Ricans to consume home-grown psychoactive cannabis, which has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content greater than one percent. However, the final version of the law, Ley #10113, is now available in Spanish.

Costa Rica’s wage and hour laws set a minimum wage for all sectors, adjusted twice a year by the Ministry of Labor’s wage council. The current minimum wages are above the poverty line, applicable to both Costa Rican and migrant workers.

For those traveling to the United States, it’s essential to be aware of the regulations regarding the importation of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Office of Diversion Control International Drug Unit provides guidance on these matters. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) also plays a critical role in countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability.

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Costa Rica is a constitutional republic, with its latest presidential elections in 2018 bringing Carlos Alvarado of the Citizen’s Action Party to power. The law permits different types of worker organizations, reflecting the country’s commitment to democratic principles.

Regarding cannabis legality in the United States, marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law. This includes products with more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or those not approved by the FDA. TSA officers are mandated to report any suspected violations of these laws.

Globally, the World Factbook categorizes illicit drugs into five groups: narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and cannabis. Cannabis, specifically Cannabis sativa, is the most widely cultivated, trafficked, and abused illicit drug.

Costa Rica

For more detailed information on these topics, refer to the following sources:

Costa Rica International Travel Information
World Factbook of Criminal Justice System – Costa Rica
Report Name: Awaiting Regulations for Medicinal Cannabis and Industrial Hemp

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