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Deputies of the Commission of Environment of Congress pre-approved the so-called bill, "Law for the production of cannabis and
hemp for medicinal purposes." - A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -


















 










  







 


Published Monday, October 12, 2020

The country may start marketing
hemp-cannabis, study says


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A study by Costa Rica's Export Promotion Agency, known as Procomer, finds that the government could soon export products obtained from hemp-cannabis in other countries.

Bill No. 21,388, presented by deputy Zoila Rosa Volio, legalizing the use of hemp-cannabis is under inquiry in Congress.

According to the agency, the study identifies segments of hemp-cannabis products in which the government could enter:

- Products obtained from CBD  as supplements, topical solutions, or incorporating it into food and beverages.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract.

- Products of industrial applications such as bioplastics and sustainable construction.

- Food products such as dairy, bakery products, seeds and snacks.

- Personal care products such as soaps and lotions; and textiles such as clothing and uniforms.

Of the above products, there are comparatively more favorable indicators for the marketing of products with CBD application in goods such as supplements, topical solutions, food and beverages, the agency said.

According to Procomer, although the cultivation associated with the extraction of CBD requires a higher initial investment, other indicators favor it, such as a greater intensity of labor and better profitability, as long as the yields are achieved per hectare.

Also, the study establishes that there is potential for hemp-cannabis in grain, which can also be used in food supplements or direct consumption of the seed, given its high nutritional value.

"Grain production, compared to CBD, is less labor-intensive and profitable," the agency said.

Another product that the study mentions is fiber, which has applications in bioplastics, textiles, hempcrete and biofuels. It has the lowest profitability and labor intensity. The agency said, "it is also classified as a low price market due to the important participation from China.”

The country must establish clear laws before opting for any of the forms of cultivation of the aforementioned by-products. The agro-productive characteristics such as the ideal seed variety for the climate should be valued, as well as the regions where it is best adapted for production, valuing the yields according to the type of crop to be developed, the agency said.

According to Procomer, the commercialization of industrial hemp-cannabis has boomed in recent years. In 2020, the market for CBD products such as supplements and beverages are estimated at $1.9 billion with a growth of 57% in the 2016-2020 period.

The textile market, meanwhile, is estimated at $1.2 billion with an increase of 7% (mostly occupied by China). The industrial applications such as bioplastics and sustainable construction are worth  $1 billion and an increase of 16%. Personal care valued at $477 million and 9%, while food at $432 million and 13%.

Globally, the larger producers of hemp are: China, Canada and within the European Union, France, Holland, Estonia, Germany, Italy and Lithuania. In Latin America, industrial hemp-cannabis production is advancing in countries such as Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador and Paraguay because they have already established laws for the cultivation, the agency said.

According to the agency, at the request of the government, presentations of this study have been made to deputies at the Congress who have expressed interest in the hemp-cannabis issue.

Last month, deputies of the Commission of Environment of Congress pre-approved the so-called bill, "Law for the production of cannabis and hemp for medicinal purposes."

According to Congress, the bill regulates and allows for access, use of cannabis and its derivatives exclusively for medicinal and therapeutic purposes only. Furthermore, the law authorizes the production and commercialization of cannabis-hemp for industrial and food use. The law also encourages production chains to benefit small agricultural producers.

The next step, for the advancement of the law, is an additional analysis by all the deputies, for the final vote in favor or against the law.

In May, President Carlos Alvarado announced that he promotes the cultivation of cannabis-hemp, as part of the action plan for the economic reactivation of the post-covid-19 pandemic.



----------------------
Should Congress authorize the free consumption and commercialization of cannabis in the country?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com




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