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Will Mexico Legalize Cannabis By The April 30th Deadline?

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As of this blog post, there are only two countries that have legalized cannabis for adult use – Canada and Uruguay. Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis for adult use, and Canada was the first G-7 country to do so.

A court ruling last year in Italy struck down cannabis prohibition, however, lawmakers in Italy have yet to pass legislation to implement a cannabis legalization law. Prior to the court ruling in Italy, a similar court ruling occurred in Mexico, with Mexico’s Supreme Court not only ruling that cannabis prohibition was unconstitutional, but the Court also tasked lawmakers with passing legalization legislation by the end of 2019.

The initial deadline came and went, and Mexico’s Supreme Court issued an extension, with a new deadline being April 30th. That is obviously a month away still, yet with everything going on in regards to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Mexico’s lawmakers will be able to meet the new deadline.

Senate commissions in Mexico passed a legalization bill earlier in March, but there’s still a lot that needs to be done before the bill gets all the way through the political process in Mexico. The legislation still needs to go through the Mexico Senate plenary and the Chamber of Deputies before it goes to Mexico’s President for his signature.

Anything is possible, obviously, but the odds of Mexico’s lawmakers getting all of that done within a month are not good. That would be true even if there wasn’t a pandemic going on. With the pandemic still affecting operations all over the globe, including in Mexico, the legalization in effort could get frozen in Mexico for the time being.

Mexico’s lower chamber suspended most functions on March 20th, with no firm date set to resume all operations. With that being said, presumably, Mexico’s Supreme Court will issue another extension, which will allow Mexico’s lawmakers more time to build consensus around a comprehensive cannabis legalization measure.

What the new date would be is anyone’s guess at this point.