Mexico is on the verge of legalizing cannabis; lawmakers are set to convene and vote on the issue within just a few weeks. Whether legalization will allow for private businesses or be run solely by the Mexican government remains to be seen. At least ten different bills containing legislation relevant to cannabis legalization are currently up for debate by the Mexican Congress. According to the wording of one proposal by Senator Julio Menchaca Salazar, “authorization from the Ministry of Health will be required for planting, cultivation, harvesting, preparation, possession, and transportation, for the self-consumption of persons of legal age…for recreational purposes.” Medical cannabis, defined as containing less than 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been legal in Mexico since back in 2017. Recreational use of marijuana has remained illegal, although the plant was decriminalized in 2009.
Public comments made recently by Mexican lawmakers could signal that important changes regarding cannabis legalization are, indeed, on the horizon. Senate majority leader Ricardo Monreal said to Marijuana Moment last week, “We’re thinking that we’ll bring the law out, approve it, at the end of October. That’s the schedule we have. The idea to is to try to make the best law possible.
We’ve spent hours and hours debating this issue in the Senate and we’re going to respectfully invite [deputies] so that they join us in the next debates.” Last year, Mexico’s Supreme Court made cannabis history by ruling the country-wide ban on marijuana use and possession unconstitutional. Following the historic decision, the Supreme Court had set a deadline for the end of October of this year for lawmakers to finally legalize recreational cannabis. Up until now, only two other countries in the world have voted to make marijuana legal across their entire country: Canada and Uruguay.
A statement put out last month by the Mexican Senate read, “We will not stop until we have an adequate legal framework regulating the use of cannabis.” A complete version of the final legalization bill is expected from the Senate by October 17th. Canncura Pharma is a cannabis research and technology startup company, based out of Mexico, and according to their website, “dedicated to improving the quality of life of Mexicans through the investigation of the medicinal effects of cannabis [translation].”
In an interview last month, Director of Public Affairs for Canncura Pharma, José Trinidad Murillo, told Marijuana Business Daily, “the bill was presented by the presidents of the legislative committees in charge of drafting the final version [of] the cannabis law reform, raising serious concerns about their intentions. If the Senate approves this bill, it would buy time, and get rid of the pressure from the Supreme Court; but it would not change that much from the current situation, because it would only instruct the health ministry to give permits for self-consumption.” Murillo continued on to add, “Everything else would remain as it is today; that is, people, patients, and businesses waiting for a proper set of rules regarding cannabis.”