mayo 20, 2020

Cannabis law would protect home cultivation for patients

Changes to Bill 21, 388 include home cannabis cultivation and economical support for small producers

Read in Spanish

The new text of the Bill 21,315 known as the Law on the Production of Cannabis and Hemp for Medicinal Purposes would give legal certainty to the personal cultivation for self-consumption and for therapeutic purposes.

The new text was worked by the Deputy of the Frente Amplio, José María Villalta and seeks to improve the proposal presented in march 2019 by the independent Deputy Zoila Volio.

Thanks to citizen pressure, self-cultivation or home cultivation was included for the first time as one of the fundamental pillars of a law that aims to legalize the industry to innovation and economic reactivation.

The President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, announced on May 4 that the government intends to support the cultivation of hemp, which has brought congresswoman Volio Deputy's project back to the national discussion.

Here's what the substitute text says: http://bit.ly/3b4RAQj:

Article 24.- Accreditation of patient status. The medical condition of the patient person to which, for the improvement of his health, the treatment of a disease or the relief of his symptoms, is authorized the use of psychoactive cannabis for medical or therapeutic use must be accredited by the professional person in medicine in charge of his treatment. For this purpose, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund or the health centre concerned shall issue a license allowing public authorities to identify the patient person, in accordance with the technical specifications to be issued by the Ministry of Health.

Article 25.- Cultivation for self-consumption of patients. Persons accredited as patients in accordance with the provisions of the previous article and who have the respective prescription of the professional person in medicine in charge of their treatment, are authorized to carry out the domestic cultivation of a limited number of psychoactive cannabis plants, to be used, solely and exclusively, in the treatment of the patient person for medical or therapeutic purposes.

Domestic cultivation may also be carried out by a family person of legal age in charge of the care of the patient, when he is in a terminal state or has a disability that prevents them from carrying out such activity on their own.

The domestic cultivation of psychoactive cannabis plants for self-consumption and exclusive use of patients, for the prevention and treatment of diseases and the relief of their symptoms, after a prescription from the respective treating physician and under his supervision.

Controversy over home cultivation

The conditions for the development of medicinal cannabis and hemp that are developed in the first bill would be difficult applicable to Costa Rican reality and impossible to the success of the industry at the national level, as confirmed by different experts to MCN.

The most important structural muscle on the subject was also excluded: growing patients.

"With an adequate regulation of medical cannabis we will be able to guarantee the drug to any patient who needs it, to energize and diversify the small agricultural production, as well as generate new resources for public health programs", said Villalta who also assured that the substitute text has been worked together with both firms.

Other changes in the substitute text relate to the inclusion of small producers, access to credits and technical advice, as well as the strengthening of public health programs.

The future of the text will be defined in the coming days when the President of the Legislative Assembly, Eduardo Cruickshank, assigns the operation of the Committee on the Environment which discusses this issue.

Photo Credit. Gio Bartlet.

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