Costa Rican Last Will And Testament

When living in paradise it can be difficult to think about the less savory topics such as your last will and testament. Costa Rica will honor your US/Canadian last will and testament only after it has gone through the probate process in your home country and can take up to 2 years to go through the courts and probate of Costa Rica. The last thing you want to do is put your loved ones through a difficult and expensive probate process.

If you have assets in Costa Rica such as a property, bank account, car, and so on, you will need to have a will created according to Costa Rican laws to ease and expedite the probate process.

The process to create a Costa Rican last will and testament is fairly simple and reasonably priced. You will need a Costa Rican notary public or an attorney who is also a notary. With the notary you will draft a will declaring all your Costa Rican assets and specifying who the beneficiary/beneficiaries will be. After this draft is created the notary will create a public deed including all of this information and require it to be signed by at least 3 witnesses. This public deed is called a “testimonio” and your notary will supply you and the National Records building “Archive Nacional” with a certified copy.  You can revoke or modify your will at any time and since it is publicly recorded you can always request another copy from the National Records building. It is important that you also make sure to send a copy to your beneficiaries and the executor of your will.

Keep in mind that regardless if you have a will or not, there will be a probate process. Yes a last will and testament will expedite the process through the courts but you should still guarantee that your beneficiaries will have the funds necessary to go through the process. There will be notary fees, National Registry fees, and the real estate transfer taxes. If you own a bank account here in Costa Rica, you can appoint beneficiaries that will receive access to your accounts without a probate process. This way your beneficiaries can pay for the necessary costs to carry out your final wishes.

Another great option is creating a trust. A trust is a formal agreement between you and this entity, that states the trust owns the assets. Assets will be transferred to the beneficiaries you have designated at the time of creating the trust if you pass away. Before you purchase any assets, the trust must be created so that you can transfer the assets directly to the trust that is administered by a bank or escrow company. Of course you can transfer assets to a trust later but this will be an additional cost so it is easier to have the trust created prior to purchase.

Creating a last will & testament is the responsible and right thing to do for your loved ones. Each case is different and it is best to talk to your trusted attorney on what the best option is for you. If you have any questions or need recommendations I am more than happy to assist.

Buyer’s Closing Costs In Costa Rica

A common question buyers have when purchasing property in Costa Rica is “what are the closing costs”. This is actually a very easy question to answer as the laws of Costa Rica dictate what the bulk of the closing costs are.

When purchasing a property the closing costs will be a percentage of either A) the agreed upon sale price or B) the legal registered value of the property in the Public Registry system, whichever number is higher. The government always wants their cut to be the higher percentage. The total closing costs should be no higher than 5% and can be as low as 3.85%.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the fees:

1)    Attorney/Notary Fees: This is the fee that you will be charged by the attorney/notary that represents you in the transaction. The fee ranges from 1-1.5% of the A) the agreed upon sale price or B) the legal registered value of the property in the Public Registry system, whichever one is higher. This fee is for the attorney to do all the due diligence on the property to make sure you are purchasing a free and clear title with no liens, encumbrance, or annotations. The notary will also ensure that once the sale is completed, the new deed will be registered properly under your name or corporation. (Not all Costa Rican attorneys are notaries, to become a notary a person has to be a licensed attorney first)

2)    Real Estate Transfer Tax : This tax is paid directly to the Costa Rica Government and is 1.5% of the registered value or the agreed upon sale price, whichever one is higher.

3)    National Registry & Documentary Stamps: This fee will be .85% of the registered value or the agreed upon sale price, whichever one is higher.

Here is a further breakdown: National Registry Stamps (0.5%) Agrarian Fees: (0.15%) Fiscal Stamps, National Archive Fee, Costa Rica Bar Association Fees (Less than $20) Municipal Fee: (0.2%)

4)    Escrow Fees: The escrow is the registered company that will hold the funds and disburse at closing. This is usually split 50/50 between buyer and seller. The fee the escrow agency charges depends on the amount of funds they are responsible for safe keeping. Average cost for both buyer and seller is about $550.00.

5)   Wire Fees:  Depending on the escrow company that is used for holding the funds, wire fees will be about $75.00 to disburse the funds after closing. Your bank may also charge you a fee for sending the funds to the escrow company. Check with your local bank.

6)   Inspection Fees: When purchasing a finished property like a condo or a home, it is highly recommended to have a home inspection. This will run anywhere from $300 to $700 depending on the size of the property. This will be paid out at closing by the escrow agency, so no need to send fund for this ahead of time

7)    Utility Transfer: If you choose to have your attorney transfer the utilities under your name or corporation it will be an additional cost, approximately $150.

8)    Utility Deposit: You will also have to give a deposit to the utility companies, the deposit amount will be based on past usage, approximately $250.

9) Affidavit For Money Laundry: For closing, you will have to sign an affidavit for money laundering, depending on the law firm you use, the fee will be approximately $275.

10) Special Power Of Attorney: If you are not able to be present for the closing, you will have to have a Special Power of Attorney, the cost ranges from $200-$400.

11) Corporation: If you choose to put the property under a corporation, instead of your personal name it will run you about $700-$1200, depending on the law firm or type of corporation you set up. Something else to keep in mind is each year you must pay a corporate tax, register your shareholders and file a tax return. To learn more, check out this blog  https://blog.costarican-american-connection.com/annual-taxes-and-filing-requirements-in-costa-rica/

12) Survey: When purchasing a house or a lot it is very important to get a licensed topographer to survey the property and make sure all the lot lines are correct. A comprehensive survey with markers all on points of the property will cost around $750. If you need to survey a large property, like a farm, the survey will be more expensive.

13) MISC FEES: A few additional fees that can be added into a closing are paying your new property taxes and HOA fees in advance.

VAT (13%): All services used in the closing of a property will include a 13% Value Added Tax. For each of the amounts listed above that are being provided as a service will have this additional tax added on. 

The higher the value of the property the higher the closing costs will be. Just use 5% of the purchase price as a safe assumption as to what you will spend on your new home in paradise when you are looking at your budget. A small price to pay! If you have any questions, please reach out and I will be happy to assist. I can also help you run the numbers on a property you may be interested in!

Annual Taxes and Filing Requirements in Costa Rica

One of the few constants in life is taxes and fees. No matter where in the world you may live, there is a price to pay. Thankfully, here in Costa Rica it is a very small price to pay.

Desktop with a laptop, calculator and money representing tax preparation

Let’s start with annual taxes.

Each year all property owners must pay their property tax. Costa Rica property tax is a quarter of 1% (.25%) and is based on the registered value of the property. The value is registered with the local municipality and the national registry. For example if you have a property valued at $100,000 US dollars, the property tax will be only $250.00 per year, plus garbage and parks tax. Depending on the municipality it could be roughly another $100.00 per year. The end of the first quarter is March 31.

Keep in mind the Luxury Property tax when paying your property taxes. The luxury property tax applies to houses, condominiums, and apartments with a construction value beyond ¢133,000,000.00 (approximately US$ 214,500). The tax rate can be anywhere between 0.25% and 0.55%, depending on the declared value of your property’s construction. This tax is in addition to the annual property tax of 0.25%. This equates to roughly $250 to $500 per $100,000 of your declared property value. Need more info? Check out one of my previous blogs (https://blog.costarican-american-connection.com/luxury-home-tax/)

For those who have corporations there is also an annual tax. The government charges an annual fee that must be paid to keep the corporation in good standing. The fee is approximately $120 for non-active corporations that are used only as holding companies for real estate or any assest. The annual fee for active corporations is based on income and is typically between $200 and $380. According to law 9428, the tax must be paid by January 31 each year. The company’s legal representative is responsible to declare and pay the tax. If you don’t know if the taxes are current or overdue, you can consult the National Registry database (www.rnpdigital.com) or contact your property manager or attorney that helped you purchase the property.

Corporations must also pay the The Education and Culture Stamp Tax (Timbre de Educacion y Cultura). This tax is based upon the amount of the capital stock of your corporation. Most corporations in Costa Rica have a capital stock of less than 250,000 colones which means those corporations will only pay a tax of 750 Colones or about $1.50 USD. The payments are due by March 31st of each year.

Marchamo is the annual road circulation tax and mandatory liability tax. You can pay marchamo starting Nov. 15th and you have until Dec. 31st. To find out how much you owe ​​Text message to 1467 with the word marchamo, followed by the license plate number. You will not be able to renew or pay a marchamo unless you can show proof that the vehicle has an up to date inspection slip showing that the vehicle has passed its yearly emissions testing.

Below are the annual required filings for those who own corporations.

For IN-ACTIVE corporations, this year you need to file a one-time declaration with the Costa Rica Tax Authority for 2021-2022 informing the Tax Authority if it has assets and if so, the value of the investment/asset. This is for the Tax Authority to understand the present value and to avoid an increase put upon your corporation by the Tax Authority without true justification. As an example, your property is registered as an IN-ACTIVE (meaning you do not collect income from it) this filing needs to be done with an accountant indicating that the corporation has an asset and the value of that asset. THE NEW DEADLINE IS April 30, 2023.

A new law enacted in September 2019 requires Costa Rican corporations to disclose the identity of their shareholders or owners every year. ​​The corporation’s legal representative must file annually in April with the Registry of Transparency and Final Beneficiaries of the Central Bank. The filing includes details about the corporation and the name, address, identification number, and contact information of each shareholder or owner and their percentage of ownership. To file, the representative must first obtain a digital signature card from an authorized bank. Such cards are only issued to Costa Rican citizens and residents. A non-resident who owns a corporation can comply with the reporting requirements by granting a power of attorney to a third party who will then obtain the digital signature and file the disclosure.

If you have any additional questions or need any further clarification please feel free to contact me.

The Final Costa Rica Covid Update

I am pleased to announce this is the final Costa Rica Covid update blog! As we head into this upcoming high season, we hope to enjoy Costa Rica as we did pre pandemic. 

Sailboat off the coast of Costa Rica

Covid-19 cases continue to drop in Costa Rica. Although we will never be completely rid of Covid-19, this country has done an incredible job to protect its people. Costa Rica owes its success to a strong universal healthcare system, a large network of primary health care clinics and vaccination sites. As well as greatly promoting the simple, cost effective methods of washing your hands, using a mask, and making your health your priority. 

Sunny Costa Rica was the place to brave the pandemic with plenty of outdoor social distancing activities, outdoor dining, beautiful unpopulated beaches, and fresh air. In general, life expectancy in Costa Rica approaches 81 years while the US is at 76 years and dropping sharply! 

View of Playa Coco and Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica

April 1st, 2022 Costa Rica repealed all Covid related travel restrictions. This eliminated the requirement to complete the form known as the Health Pass and the requirement of medical insurance for unvaccinated foreigners. All commercial establishments, activities, and events can operate at 100% capacity. Masks, hand washing, and temperature taking is no longer required.

As high season approaches both Ticos and expats alike are anxious to start fully enjoying all the festivities the coming months have to offer. As well as the beautiful sunny and hot dry season weather! 

Sunset over Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica

All Covid information will be removed from my costarican-american-connection.com website but you can still watch Covid update videos on my youtube www.youtube.com/c/JosephEmanuelli.  If you have any questions, you can always feel free to send me an email or give me a call. 

It’s time to book your flight and come on down! Costa Rica is fully open and ready for you to start your adventure. Pura Vida is calling. 

Slang & Sayings In Costa Rica

Sometimes Spanish class just isn’t enough, especially when it comes to learning these Costa Rica slang & sayings. Each Spanish speaking country has a slight variation when it comes to their language. Similar to the differences in British English and English spoken in the United States.

Here is a list of all the most common slang words & sayings Costa Ricans use so that way you are never out of the loop! Plus you will sound like a local.

Sunset over Playa Hermosa Costa Rica

Pura Vida – The literal translation is “Pure Life” but for the Costa Rican people it is an all encompassing phrase. For instance someone asks “How are you?” you can respond “Pura Vida” or if someone says “See you later” you can say “Pura Vida”. You are late to an appointment? Pura Vida. Enjoying the beach? Pura Vida. It is essentially a way of life here!

Tico/Tica – means Costa Rican. A Tico is a Costa Rican man and a Tica is a Costa Rican woman. Ticos have a tendency to make things diminutive with the suffix -tico or -tica, so much so they were named after it! Ticos created words like pequeñitica, chiquitico, or azulitico. It’s very endearing!

Mae – pronounced like “my” it means “bro”,”dude”, or ”man”. Costa Ricans, especially surfers will frequently use it in a sentence. Actually it may be the most often said word in Costa Rica, next to Pura Vida of course!

Tuanis – pronounced like “too-a-knees” and may have originated from a misheard mispronunciation of “too nice”. Tuanis means cool and is mainly used by the younger generations.

Costa Rican flag on a boat

A Cachete – Cachete literally means a cheek but “A Cachete” means everything is going great! You are out enjoying life, the sun is shining, the waves are crashing and you can shout “A Cachete”!

Chunche/Chunches – means a thing or stuff. It is a word you use when you can’t find the proper name for an item right away. Or it’s a chunche when you forgot the name altogether or if you can’t pronounce the word. Similar to a whatchamacallit.

Por Dicha – The literal translation for Dicha is bliss. Por Dicha means fortunately, thankfully or luckily. It is an expression of gratitude and thankfulness.

Zaguate in Costa RicaZaguate – my personal favorite, Zaguate means street dog. But not just any street dog, a Costa Rican street dog! A zaguate is the perfect mix of so many dog breeds you can’t even tell the origin anymore. A zaguate is the bestest friend you will ever have. Interested in learning more about these lovable pups? Check out one of my older blogs (https://blog.costarican-american-connection.com/costa-rican-zaguates/)

Birra – pronounced like beer-a… you guessed it, means beer! No need to use the word cerveza here, Costa Ricans will understand if you order a nice cold birra.

Wacala – means yuck! When you eat something that isn’t tasty or step into something unsavory you can shout “wacala”!

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tiquismos or Costa Rican slang/sayings. Ticos are always creating new words. Thankfully Ticos love to share their culture and will happily teach you as much slang as you can remember. Pura vida mae, time to grab a birra with my zaguate!

Gardening In The Guanacaste Region

Rumor has it that if you plant a stick in the ground in Costa Rica it will grow! The soil here is rich and fertile. Gardening in the Guanacaste region is satisfying but still a labor of love, no matter how rich the soil.

Flowers in Guanacaste

For those who love flowers, I have great news…You can have blooms all year long! In my own garden, I have a plethora of different heliconia species. Many of these heliconias came from cuttings I collected off the side of the road and simply stuck in the ground. Torch ginger and canna lilies flowers burst open from the tops of tall stalks. Ixora flowers line my sidewalks and driveway. Bougainvillea bushes create vibrant pops of color throughout the yard.

Gardening in Guanacaste Costa RicaBut keep in mind that just because these flowers grow well, doesn’t mean they don’t need some maintenance. Here in the Guanacaste region, we have 6 months of no rain. It is important to make sure you water these tropical flowers regularly or have an automated irrigation system. Also a “full sun” loving plant may not necessarily be tolerant of the full sun strength in this region.

 

Hanging plant with flowersAside from flowers growing in my garden, I have a variety of fruit trees. The mango and avocado trees I planted from seeds 3 years ago are already taller than me! You only need to wait 5 to 8 years for fruit on a mango tree planted from seed. Avocado trees will start to fruit after just 5 years. The 3 year old lime trees are full of fruit and the orange trees are starting to blossom. Bananas and plantains grow wild with enough water. I get so many bananas, I often give them away.

If you plan on growing fruit, make sure you learn about each one. The mango or lime tree may grow tall and wide but they don’t always give fruit depending on their conditions. It’s important to make sure these plants are well fertilized and cut back in order to provide delicious fruits. Also keep an eye out for pests and critters that want to make a meal out of your fruits. Some fruits must be protected, bagged or picked early to insure that you will be able to enjoy them.

Tree

The best resource for those looking to start their own garden is taking a trip to a local viviero (plant nursery) and talking to the jardinero (gardener)! These folks know everything there is to know about gardening the local plants in our region and how to best take care of them. If you prefer a low maintenance garden they will point you in the direction of plants you can practically forget about. If you love flowers, they will help you so that your garden is in bloom year round. They are happy to accommodate every type of gardener.

Landscape gardening - flowers in a landscaped garden

Gardening is a great hobby for those interested in moving to Guanacaste, or anywhere in Costa Rica.  It’s an easy way to stay fit and grow enough limes for endless margaritas! Be sure to check out the photo album I added to my website (https://www.costarican-american-connection.com/Costa_Rica_Photo_Album/page_2711979.html) Many of these photos were taken in my garden.

DEKRA The New Vehicle Inspection Company

UPDATED Dec. 9th, 2022

Great news, DEKRA is now up and running! You can schedule your inspection by going on this website https://book.dekra.io/book/customer-retail/CR.

Simply select the type of vehicle (car/motorcycle/atv), then location (Liberia is the closest), the date and time, and finally your personal information (plate number, first and last name, email, and phone number). You should receive a confirmation and you are all set!

The website is in Spanish, but if you have Google Chrome you can use the translate feature to put it in English. Have any questions? I am happy to help! Good luck on your inspection and I hope to see you driving in paradise.

Out with the old and in with the new. After 20 years of doing vehicle inspections for Costa Rica, the Spanish company Riteve will be replaced by DEKRA, a German company. 

Dekra logo

Every year all vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, golf carts, atvs etc) must pass an annual inspection in order to be legally driven on the roads here in Costa Rica. This annual inspection tests the safety of your vehicle such as the breaks, headlights, windows, windshield wipers, seat belts, suspension and so on. As well as the pollution levels coming from the exhaust. The month that your inspection is due corresponds with the last number of your license plate. 

Riteve had signed a contract in 2002 for an initial term of 10 years and only one possibility of extending it with an equal period. So on July 15th, 2022 at 4PM Riteve stopped providing their services and handed the land, stations, and equipment back to the government. The Costa Rican government now had to quickly close contracts with Riteve and decide on a new operator to provide the vehicle inspection service. 

Costa Rica’s goal was to find a company who would agree to lower the price of the vehicle inspection yet maintain the inspection quality. On August 24th, the government announced that DEKRA would be taking over the operation for the next 2 years. DEKRA promises to offer inspections at half the price as well as not charging for re-inspections for minor defects. The new rates will be between ¢7,318 – ¢8,125  (+IVA) for light passenger vehicles and between ¢4,822 – ¢5,354 (+IVA) for motorcycles. 

DEKRA hopes to be operational by the end of October. This is especially important since the Marchamo payment collection starts November 1st. (Marchamo is the vehicle registration or right of movement permit which is identified by a sticker that is placed on the windshield of your vehicle) But Marchamo can only be paid IF you pass your vehicle inspection. 

Due to the fact Riteve has not been operational since the middle of July, many vehicles have not been able to receive an inspection. To accommodate this, INS is granting amnesty to the following plate numbers (​​6, 7, 8, 9 and 0). INS confirmed that those plate numbers will be able to pay the 2023 Marchamo and get a sticker even though they did not pass a vehicle inspection.

Once DEKRA becomes operational, MOPT has outlined a specific time frame for accomplishing your vehicle inspection. For example plate numbers 5 & 6 will have one month after the restart of the service to schedule and pass the inspection. Vehicles with plates ending 7 & 8 will have two months, and three months for 9 & 0. 

Already off to a great start by lowering the cost of inspection, let’s hope DEKRA is also able to ease the anxiety of this annual chore. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional questions! I would be happy to assist you. 

Market Update For The Papagayo Region

Before you know it the high season will be upon us once again so I wanted to share a general real estate market update for the Papagayo Region. A lot has changed over the past two years and our market definitely reflects that. 

Sunset in Papagayo Costa Rica

The COVID pandemic was a big factor in changing mindsets and lifestyles. Costa Rica became a destination for those looking for a healthier, easier, and more positive life. Those who can now work from home prefer to have a view of the ocean. Others decided to change their careers completely and start new businesses in paradise. Some realized it was time to retire and relax. Whatever the reason may be, Costa Rica became the perfect option.

Although the market has slowed down just a little bit, properties are still selling at listing price or very close to it. Inventory is low and well priced properties sell rather quickly.

If you are interested in purchasing a lot to build your dream home, options are becoming limited. In the last two years many of the available lots in the Playa Hermosa, Playas del Coco, and Playa Panama have been bought up and new homes have been built. For a decent ocean view, lot prices are starting at $150,000-$200,000 and for a spectacular view prices start at $300,000-$350,000.

Image showing a top quality ocean view lot

Condos have also been a big hit! The ease and convenience of condo living has made available condos scarce. A 2 bedroom/1.5 bath condo, walk to the beach can start around $200,000 while an ocean view condo starts around $350,000. Those looking for a good deal or steal will realize that many of the “fixer upper” condos have been purchased and beautifully renovated.

Aerial view of a home being constructed in Costa Rica

Construction has been booming, for those who are familiar with the Playa Hermosa and Playas del Coco area, you know that homes have been popping up overnight. So many have decided to build their dream home or make some extra money by building a spec home. Homes vary in prices greatly. You can still find a nice 2 or 3 bedroom home without a view starting at $300,000 but an ocean view home will start around $700,000. 

In this market update I also wanted to share another big piece of news! The Papagayo Region is getting 4 new luxury hotels. On the Cacique Peninsula (located between Playa Hermosa and Playas del Coco) land movement has already started for the Waldorf Astoria. On the other side of Playa Hermosa, next to Condovac, the Only and Only (a seven star hotel) will be constructed. Out on the Four Seasons Peninsula the Ritz Carlton and Six Senses are already in motion! This area is really starting to see a lot of action! 

Don’t miss your opportunity to live and own in paradise. Please contact me if you have any questions about purchasing property or if you would like to schedule a time to chat. Just in case you missed my previous blog, financing is now available in Costa Rica to foreigners (click here to read). Hope to see you here soon! 

New Flights Coming To And From Costa Rica

High season is quickly approaching and airlines are preparing by offering new flights to Costa Rica! This is fabulous news for travelers hoping to spend some time in the sun. 

Airplane on the tarmac in Costa Rica

First let’s talk about the U.S. carrier Frontier Airlines. Frontier has announced new non-stop flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to the two main airports in Costa Rica.  There will be one weekly flight into Liberia International Airport starting December 17th and Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose will have flights twice weekly starting November 17th.

Carry-on luggage with tagFrontier is hoping to help boost tourism by offering new routes to preferred destinations. Costa Rica is a very sought after destination for many U.S. travelers due to the country’s numerous outdoor activities, welcoming culture, and commitment to environmental preservation. 

Best part is, Frontier is known for offering ultra-low fares that allow travelers more affordable access to countries such as Costa Rica. Travelers with a love for nature can come and truly experience everything this beautiful country has to offer. 

Another airline increasing flights into Costa Rica is the Swiss airline, Edelweiss. Starting November 2nd, Edelweiss will have an Airbus A340-300 fly into the Liberia airport in Guanacaste from Zurich twice a week – on Wednesdays and Sundays. Costa Rica has become a very popular holiday destination among the Swiss and there is definitely an increase in demand!

Edelweiss’ increasing the frequency of flights to Guanacaste shows that Costa Rica is growing as a destination worldwide. This is a big deal for Costa Rica’s tourism sector as well as for property owners here in Guanacaste. More tourists means more rentals and more business! 

For those living here, Arajet, Dominican Republic’s low-cost airline, announced that it will begin operations in Costa Rica! Arajet offers flights to the Dominican Republic, the United States, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Curaçao, Mexico, Panama, Aruba, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Peru, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, El Salvador, and Jamaica from Costa Rica.

beautiful beach in Costa Rica

Arajet has already begun offering and selling tickets for direct and convenient flights to many of these destinations starting in October.  The airline anticipates flying 5 times a week. Arajet also plans to offer ticket prices 30% to 60% lower than the market average. 

Costa Rica hopes to start this high season with an influx of new travelers as well as affordable prices for those who visit every year or who have made Costa Rica their home. Keep an eye out, other airlines are sure to increase flights into Guanacaste. Come and enjoy everything this beautiful country has to offer!

Recreational Marijuana In Costa Rica?

image of recreational marijuana

Costa Rica is working towards the legalization of recreational marijuana. During the commemoration of President Rodrigo Chaves’ first 100 days in office, Chaves announced a bill that would do just that! This bill for legalizing recreational marijuana will be presented to the Legislative Assembly by November 1st at the latest. 

Earlier this year in March, as soon as the Legislative Assembly approved a bill legalizing medical marijuana and hemp, former President Carlos Alvarado signed the bill into law. Both former President Carlos Alvarado and current President Rodrigo Chaves believe cannabis will be a great benefit for the country.

Hemp received a warm welcome by the agricultural and business sectors. Hemp’s legalization will help farmers generate a new form of income by taking advantage of this growing international market. Improving Costa Rica’s current economy and providing high quality exports.

A hemp plant in Costa Rica

Recreational marijuana may have a more difficult time getting approved by Congress. The proposal has already generated a few negative reactions in certain political sectors and some politicians are saying they will oppose the bill. The Costa Rican people are divided. Some believe legalization can lead the youth to turn into addicts or that marijuana can affect brain development.

Marijuana leaf over a dollar bill

President Chaves feels that legalizing marijuana would hinder criminal groups’ economic activity. The Ministry of Finance could start collecting taxes from the commercialization of marijuana, instead of the criminal groups lining their pockets. It is no secret that marijuana is being consumed in this country so why not have the government benefit off of it instead of the criminals?

Legalizing recreational marijuana would also make it a regulated activity, thus helping the Costa Rican government to have better control over the population’s consumption. Many other countries have already decriminalized recreational marijuana and have obtained great results. Decriminalization can lead to a more transparent use of cannabis.

Only time will tell if Costa Rica will approve recreational marijuana. When the Legislative Assembly is presented the bill later this year, they will be responsible for deciding what is best for the country.