Is it the seed of prosperity for Costa Rica? Despite the reluctance of the country’s president, the legalization of cannabis and its large-scale production has made its way through the national parliament thanks to the determination of an independent deputy who is an agronomist. Covered by the National Institute of Innovation in Agricultural Technology, Zoila María Volio wants to take advantage of the great economic potential of medicinal cannabis.
“The project was born as an initiative to make it work and to be able to generate a different crop for many agricultural cooperatives,” explains the deputy. The bill that Zoila María Volio promoted has the support of the majority of the chamber and only needs to be voted on in a plenary session. However, it clashes with the reluctance of the country’s president, Carlos Alvarado, who sees the production of hemp for export well but does not see so well the legalization of medical marijuana.
A diametrically opposite position maintains the businessman Rodrigo Martín. Suffering from cancer, two years ago he was diagnosed, and doctors told him that he would only live six months:
“I have one year, I think one year and three months, of not taking a single test, not a single exam. I decided to live. I live every day happy, I have quality of life, I enjoy my life, I have friends, a normal life, totally normal. And I owe it all, without a doubt, to God and cannabis”, he says.
The current global demand for medical cannabis is worth almost six billion dollars annually, although this amount is expected to multiply in the coming years to meet the growing needs of the pharmaceutical industry in countries such as Germany. Manna for a Costa Rican agricultural sector that, like the entire region, has been the victim this year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the economic crisis, and the hurricanes.