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Medical Cannabis Cultivation Coming to Costa Rica

Central American country grants first license to Azul Wellness.

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Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKI COMMONS

Cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes in Costa Rica can now move forward, reports the Tico Times.  The country’s Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), Víctor Carvajal, recently signed a resolution granting authorization to Azul Wellness to proceed with the project.

The Costa Rican-owned company, backed by the family of José Álvaro Jenkins, president of the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP), plans to establish an 800 square meter cannabis production and processing facility in Filadelfia, Guanacaste.

Azul Wellness, which has partnered with New York based Merida Capital Holdings, aims to cultivate two varieties of psychoactive cannabis initially, with a focus on export.

Merida, co-founded by Mitchell Baruchowitz (a winner for Finance in Global Cannabis Time’s Top 100 People of Cannabis), has been among the most active investors in cannabis with $350 million deployed in over 75 companies to date.

Currently, the MAG has issued a total of nine permits, comprising eight authorizations for hemp cultivation and one license for medical cannabis, says the Tico Times. Additionally, two applications for hemp cultivation and processing and one medical cannabis license are currently under evaluation.

The Law of cannabis for medical and therapeutic use and hemp for food and industrial use was signed by former President Carlos Alvarado on March 2, 2022. However, it took until October for the necessary regulations to be issued, enabling the granting of licenses.

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