Mexico's Senators Unanimously Approve Bill To Regulate A Legal Cannabis Market
By an overwhelming majority, 82 for and 18 against, members of the Mexican Senate approved the legalization law. The law will regulate the market for self-production up to 28 grams and will allow free trade, purchase and cultivation of 6-8 plants for self-use.
Mexico's senators unanimously approved, 82 for and 18 against, the bill to regulate a legal cannabis market in the country. Possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use will be legal for persons 18 years of age and over. At least 40% of the cannabis trade will be owned by representatives of disadvantaged communities across the country, and more. All this in the wake of a court ruling about two years ago that the indictment of cannabis use is contrary to individual liberty and disproportionate.
The new law, based on a government bill submitted by Interior Minister Olga Sanchez following a court order but has since been amended, will allow for the creation of a legal cannabis market in Mexico and allow the opening of legal stores authorized for free sale, containing up to 28 grams of cannabis. And grow up to 6 cannabis plants in the house for personal use or up to a maximum of 8 plants in case more than one person lives in the house.
The 3rd country in the world to approve full legalization of adult cannabis
In fact, the law has not yet been officially and definitively approved. A formal lower house approval is required after which the President of Mexico will sign a final approval of the law. This should happen quickly, probably even before the deadline set by the judges: 15.12.20/XNUMX/XNUMX. It should be kept in mind that even after final approval of the law, it will take time to open stores and a team will first be appointed to draft the regulations and set up a dedicated regulatory body.
This will make Mexico the third country in the world to approve full legalization of cannabis after Uruguay in 2013 and Canada in 2018, with 15 countries in the United States (4 of them earlier this month) and many other countries that take the simpler approach, such as the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Switzerland. And more. Some are also expected to approve full legalization soon.
Articles of the new law further stipulate that cannabis use will also be legal in public places as long as it is not an area where smoking is prohibited or there is concern that minors are in the vicinity. Anyone arrested with more than 28 g will be with more than 28 grams allowed by law but less than 200 grams, will not be charged or arrested but will only pay a fine accordingly.
At least 40% of the cannabis trade will belong to disadvantaged populations
The law does not regulate the creation of a medical cannabis industry, but a free market for adults for recreation and personal care. Industrial cannabis, "hemp," will be legal for free use as long as it contains less than 1% THC. Domestic cannabis producers will not be subject to government surveillance as originally planned, and convictions for cannabis offenses in the past six months will be cleared.
Another article stipulates that the holder of a license to practice cannabis will not be prohibited from holding another license at the same time. This change will allow full ownership of the entire value chain and production links, from growth to sales. This section is expected to lead to significant investment in the industry. Mexico has a population of 126 million and as a result its legal cannabis market will be the largest in the world.
To balance forces and prevent big companies from attacking and taking over what will be the world's largest legal cannabis industry, the law states that for the first 5 years, at least 40% of the licensees of the cannabis industry will be given to disadvantaged low-income and low-income communities.
How did legalization come to Mexico?
In November 2018, the Constitutional Court annulled the indictment of cannabis users following a petition claiming that the criminal sanction for cannabis use was disproportionate and contrary to individual liberty. The judges ordered the government to regulate the market in an orderly fashion within 11 months. A week after the judges' decision, a full legalization bill has already been tabled. When the judges reached the deadline, the government requested and obtained a six-month extension, until April 2020. But due to the Corona crisis, the Mexican government was also unable to reach. this goal and postponed the procedure for another six months. It is now finally approved as stated.