Costa Rica Medical Marijuana Card & Program Information

Updated on January 31, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Costa Rica’s anticipated medical marijuana program plans to make medical cannabis accessible to all patients, including children. If you or your loved one are considering medical weed to alleviate your discomfort, it’s essential to understand the proposed program’s features and requirements.

Benefits of a Medical Marijuana Card in Costa Rica

Many countries include medical marijuana cards in their medical cannabis program due to its advantages. While Costa Rica’s initial legislation to legalize medical weed included medical marijuana cards, the Ministry of Health requested its removal due to concerns of discrimination.

Because Costa Rica plans to continue its ban on recreational cannabis, it’s essential for patients to have a way to demonstrate to law enforcement officials that they’re allowed to possess and use medical weed. This is one of the main reasons many governments issue medical marijuana cards. We could see Costa Rica reintroduce this idea down the road.

How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Costa Rica

Without a medical marijuana card requirement, you won’t have to apply for one in Costa Rica. Instead, the planned program will only require a written certificate and prescription from your physician to purchase and use medical cannabis.

As a potential way to supplement medical marijuana cards, the Ministry of Health plans to issue recipes for medical weed. These recipes will feature a distinctive color that would distinguish medicinal and recreational marijuana from one another.

If you’re acting as a caregiver, however, you’ll need to go through an application process. Caregivers must provide written consent to the Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis and Hemp (IICBA) that demonstrates your agreement to control the purchase, dosage and usage of medical marijuana on behalf your loved one.

How to Recertify a Medical Marijuana Card in Costa Rica

With the proposed medical marijuana program, you wouldn’t have to reapply for a new medical cannabis card. Caregivers are also exempt from resubmitting their consent to the IICBA. In previous drafts of the program, when a medical cannabis card was mandated, recertification wasn’t required, either.

Renewals will be required for medical marijuana prescriptions, however. It’s anticipated these prescriptions won’t come with refills, which means you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your physician to receive a new order for medical cannabis.

Certification of Medical Marijuana Doctors in Costa Rica

For physicians interested in prescribing medical cannabis to patients, the proposed law doesn’t require additional licensing or certification. While many other countries mandate doctors undergo a training program and application process, Costa Rica has opted to allow all physicians to prescribe marijuana.

As a patient or caregiver to a loved one, it’s essential to see a doctor who’s educated about medical marijuana. If your general practitioner or specialist is unfamiliar with the uses, benefits and side effects of medical cannabis, consider meeting with another licensed physician.

Seeing a knowledgeable medical marijuana doctor offers several benefits, including the opportunity to build a comprehensive treatment plan involving medical cannabis. Many of these physicians also specialize in conditions that qualify for medical weed, such as epilepsy, chronic pain or glaucoma.

Contact a Medical Marijuana Official in Costa Rica Today

At, we cover the latest news on medical cannabis and provide a comprehensive selection of resources to help you and your family learn about the administration, uses, benefits and strains of medical weed.

If you’re interested in learning more about medical marijuana in Costa Rica or wish to voice your support for the impending law, contact your local government officials today. You can also track the developments of your country’s cannabis legislation by following our blog!

Resources for Medical Marijuana Patients in Costa Rica