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Will Mexico's legislators agree on adult-use cannabis in time?

Industry News Brian Holler

Canada legalized adult-use cannabis in 2018, and since that moment, the industry has waited for the United States and Mexico to follow suit. In 2020, it’s likely that Mexico will follow in the footsteps of The Great White North. 

If all goes well, Mexico will legalize adult-use cannabis based not on voter action or legislation, but through its judicial branch. Mexico has allowed consumers to grow cannabis for personal use since 2015. However, in October of 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that the Mexican government’s ban on cannabis use and possession was unconstitutional. 

This action forced legislators’ hands, effectively legalizing cannabis across Mexico. However, legislators are now tasked with enacting the Supreme Court’s mandate, and the clock is ticking. Initially, the Supreme Court gave legislators until October of 2019 to create a plan for legal weed. But because of delays, legislators now have an April 30, 2020 deadline to enact the legislation. 

The legislature is slated to vote on preliminary legislation before the end of February. If the bill is approved, it will move to the Chamber of Deputies for another round of votes. The finalized bill hasn’t been released yet, but it’s expected to include provisions like:

Mexico’s goal is to stem crime and boost tax revenue through legalization. But the social justice provisions are a sticking point between Mexican citizens and the cannabis industry. Many are calling for low-income or indigenous peoples to receive cannabis licenses first, before large companies. This is intended to repair the violence and hurt caused by drug wars. 

However, these provisions may stifle the cannabis market from growing into a formidable powerhouse. Cannabis industry representatives are unlikely to go quietly, so a legislative showdown is sure to happen over the coming weeks. 

When the legislation does pass, it could greenlight a $1 billion cannabis market. It would create one of the most profitable cannabis markets in the world. Investors should keep an eye on the final bill and how it affects their freedom to invest in the Mexican cannabis market. 

Author Brian Holler

 

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