Costa Rica: Congress approves medical cannabis bill

Costa Rica's Congress on Tuesday passed a bill that would legalize medical cannabis and the cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes, following three years of talks and a presidential veto on an earlier version of the initiative.

Legislators from Costa Rica's ruling party and several opposition groups signed off on the bill, which President Carlos Alvarado applauded as being "of great benefit to Costa Rica."

The bill aims to boost the country's pandemic-battered economy and reduce illegal demand for the drug. It will require cannabis producers to register with health institutions and agree to reviews by the Costa Rican Drug Institute (ICD).

Cannabis cultivation and sale for adult-use purposes will remain prohibited.

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