Last year Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that the country’s cannabis prohibition policy is unconstitutional. Mexico became, in a way, the third country to legalize cannabis, albeit via a court decision. Uruguay and Canada legalized cannabis for adult-use via the political process.
Mexico’s Supreme Court directed lawmakers to craft and approve cannabis legalization by the end of October 2019. We are, of course, in the middle of October 2019. It appears that lawmakers feel confident that they will meet the deadline, which was first reported by Marijuana Moment. Per the report:
The Senate leader of Mexico’s ruling party said that the lawmakers will vote on a bill to legalize marijuana for adult use by the end of the month.
There are numerous pieces of legalization legislation already on the table, but Sen. Ricardo Monreal of the MORENA party said his chamber is nearly done crafting a new reform bill that will be the product of weeks of public forums and open-session debates. Members of the other half of Mexico’s legislature, the Chamber of Deputies, will be invited to weigh in on the bill.
“We’re thinking that we’ll bring the law out, approve it, at the end of October,” Monreal said. “That’s the schedule we have.”
A number of pieces of legislation have been introduced and/or floated by various politicians in Mexico. However, from afar it appears that Senator Monreal’s bill has the greatest chance of actually becoming law.
As the push for legalization legislation moves along in Mexico, many entrepreneurs are wondering what it means in regards to the chances of a legal adult-use cannabis industry in Mexico becoming a reality. The ruling by Mexico’s Supreme Court did not call for a regulated cannabis industry.
Rather, it determined that personal possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis should be legal and the Court tasked lawmakers with making it officially happen. Mexico has been operating in a gray area while lawmakers work to pass the required legislation.
In the immediate future, assuming lawmakers get the job done, Mexico’s adult-use cannabis policy will be more like that of Washington D.C. and Vermont compared to Canada and states in the U.S. that have legal adult-use industries. Consumers will be able to gift cannabis, however, that’s the extent to which cannabis can legally change hands between consumers for adult-use purposes.
That will obviously limit the business opportunities for entrepreneurs that are looking to start-up in Mexico. Legislation creating a regulated adult-use industry will hopefully follow shortly after lawmakers in Mexico meet the Supreme Court’s mandate. Ultimately, only time will tell if that actually occurs, but luckily momentum for such a move appears to be building.