The Costa Rican cannabis company Azul Wellness S.A. has received the country’s first medical cannabis license.
Costa Rica’s Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), Víctor Carvajal recently signed a resolution permitting the company to cultivate and process the plant for medical patients in the Central American country.
Azul Wellness is primarily owned by the family of José Álvaro Jenkins, President of the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP). Jenkins says that Azul Wellness was formed as a public limited company last August with the specific intention of being the first domestic company to enter the cannabis market.
He also says the company has an agreement with the United States financial outfit Merida Capital Holdings, a private equity firm that invests in the cannabis industry. “The idea with them is to come and invest here in a medical cannabis laboratory,” said Jenkins.
Azul Wellness plans to ship cannabis to other markets before providing it throughout Costa Rica.
José Álvaro Jenkins, líder de UCCAEP, es el presidente de Azul Wellness S.A., una empresa que él y familiares constituyeron en agosto de 2022.
Este lunes 15 de mayo, esa compañía recibió la primera licencia para producir cannabis medicinal en Costa Rica.https://t.co/KfBnld8PIv
— Amelia Rueda (@ameliarueda) May 16, 2023
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Costa Rica legalized hemp and medical cannabis in March last year before issuing regulations enabling licenses to be granted in October and adult-use cannabis is yet to be legalized in the country.
Currently, Carvajal has issued a total of nine permits consisting of eight hemp licenses and the medical cannabis permit that has now been obtained by Azul Wellness. Two additional hemp license applications and one medical cannabis application are currently undergoing review, according to local media.
A survey conducted by the University of Costa Rica in 2021 indicated that 40 per cent of the population supported open consumption of cannabis.
In April last year, the international cannabis distributor Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CSE: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) began sending CBD and hemp products to Costa Rica through a distribution agreement with a company based out of Miami, Florida.