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Mexican Cannabis Legalization News & Updates

 

The Mexican Senate and Supreme Court Have Agreed to Postpone Cannabis Legalization Requirements Until December 15.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused quarantines, business shutdowns and even government recesses to prevent the spread of the disease. The supreme court had originally set an October deadline, which was extended to April 30. The senate announced that it would halt all non-essential activities in March leaving cannabis legalization on pause.

Three Mexican Senate committees voted to pass a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in Mexico on March 4. The bill will now head to the full senate to be voted on when the senate comes back to session in September. If passed will then need to be passed by the Chamber of Deputies (similar to the US House of Representatives). The bill would eventually need the signature of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The bill would limit foreign investment in cannabis business licensees to 49%. The bill will block vertical and horizontal integration as well limiting ownership to one class of business and restricting total number of licenses allowed to own.

The proposal would allow adults 18 and older to cultivate or possess cannabis for personal use. It would allow the growth of up to 20 plants with a total yield of less than 480 grams per year. Medical patients could apply to grow larger amounts.
Non-medical patients would be limited to possessing 28 grams, but the bill would decriminalize possession of up to 200 grams.

Three Mexican Senate committees voted to pass a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in Mexico on Wednesday, March 4. The bill will now head to the full senate to be voted on, and if passed will then need to be passed by the Chamber of Deputies (similar to the US House of Representatives). The bill would eventually need the signature of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has expressed that he only supports medical and not recreational cannabis. This could lead to a showdown between the president who has veto power against the legislature and the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court in Mexico ruled that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional in October, but the federal government has been slow to pass laws to regulate and officially allow cannabis. The courts have given the government until April 30 to pass legalization measures.

There have been several legalization bills and revisions in the Mexican legislature, but the newest bill just approved by the senate committees will expand home cultivation. The proposal would allow adults 18 and older to cultivate or possess cannabis for personal use. It would allow the growth of up to 20 plants with a total yield of less than 480 grams per year. Medical patients could apply to grow larger amounts.

Non-medical patients would be limited to possessing 28 grams, but the bill would decriminalize possession of up to 200 grams.

The Mexican federal government is releasing details as we draw close to the deadline to approve cannabis legalization imposed by the Supreme Court.

The Mexican Supreme Court initially set an October date, but later pushed the final deadline for April 30 to legalize cannabis. However, in the meantime there’s been little public information that has come out regarding what the plan will look like. A previous bill which didn’t get much traction included items like: banning foreign investment, vertical integration or the resale of licenses.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the government had formed a cannabis commission that will study the health and other impacts of legalization during a speech at the end of January. A new legalization bill has also been introduced which will allow people to possess 28 grams of cannabis along with 4 plants. There will be special licenses that allow possession of up to 200 grams. A new entity the Mexican Cannabis Institute would be in charge of regulating and licensing the new industry.

While these details provide some clarity on the direction Mexico is going with legalization, it’s still unsure how much of this will stay the same when the final bill is passed.

Mexico’s Supreme Court may have ruled that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional, but the country is still awaiting updates to federal laws.

The Mexican Supreme Court made its fifth ruling against cannabis prohibition in October, which forced the issue on the government. In Mexico five rulings on a topic set precedent for the nation, which may seem strange to their northern neighbors where a single ruling sets precedent at the highest court in the country.

The Supreme Court ruling initially set October 31 as the final day for the Mexican congress to update national laws regarding cannabis cultivation, possession and sales. However, the government asked the court for more time after receiving an avalanche of pressure from corporate business interests to influence the new regulations. The Supreme Court granted the extension and the deadline has now been set for April 30, 2020.

Draft versions of potential legalization bills have been posted on government websites and include things like: banning foreign investment, vertical integration or the resale of licenses. Government officials say these are efforts to keep the industry in the hands of Mexican citizens and reduce outside influence.

It’s entirely possible that the Mexican government acts prior to April 30 to officially legalize cannabis. Perhaps 4/30 will become an even more celebrated date than 4/20 for the Mexican cannabis community.

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