Rodrigo Martín was told by oncologists in Costa Rica that the cancer in his head had metastasized and that he had six months to live. It was 2018. Two years later, he is convinced that he is still alive thanks to medical cannabis.
He consumes it every day without fail. “I decided to live, I lead a totally normal life and I owe it to God and to cannabis,” says this 47-year-old man at his home in Santa Ana, west of the capital. “I live relaxed, I don’t have to think about cancer,” he said. Martín obtained the cannabis extract thanks to a doctor who brings the raw material from abroad and makes the medicine in Costa Rica. He can’t go to a pharmacy to buy it, because it’s not legal in the Central American country.
The road to legality
This situation could change if a bill promoted by the independent deputy Zoila Rosa Volio, which seeks to develop the hemp and medicinal cannabis industry in Costa Rica, is successful.
The legislator, an agronomist by training, saw in hemp and marijuana plants a crop with great economic potential for Costa Rican farmers, given the international demand they have.
The state export promotion body calculated that there is a market of $5.7 billion a year that, according to Volio, will multiply several times in the coming years due to the growing demand in countries with a pharmaceutical industry, such as Germany.