Mexico’s journey to cannabis reform is coming full circle. Mexico’s Senate chamber approved a recreational cannabis bill which would legalize cannabis for adult-use in the country on November 19. Now the bill heads to the Chamber of Deputies, and then to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador before it can become law.
The bill would establish a cannabis market in Mexico and allow adults who are 18 and older to purchase and possess up to 28 grams of cannabis. Adults would also be able to cultivate up to six plants for personal use.
Lawmakers have “the historic opportunity to regulate the use of cannabis within the Mexican regulatory framework, to allow better control of the health of users, the emancipation of organized crime activities and the use of its wide benefits for society,” Ricardo Monreal, the ruling MORENA party’s coordinator in the Senate wrote on his website, adding “this is a momentous moment in the public life of the country.”
The Senate voted in favor of the bill, 82 to 18, with seven abstentions.
Sesión ordinaria de la Cámara de Senadores, del 19 de noviembre de 2020 https://t.co/dUmavg2NSD
— Senado de México (@senadomexicano) November 19, 2020
Several delays set the bill back months. Lawmakers first were given an October 2019 deadline, but after the Senate failed to reach an agreement, the Supreme Court gave them until April 2020. COVID-19 delays, however, caused more problems, and the April 2020 deadline was extended again until Dec. 15, 2020.
Mexico approved medical cannabis in 2017, but regulations were never implemented in a way that would allow sales. Since patients could not access medical cannabis products, business was at a standstill. Since the new bill excludes medical cannabis provisions, amendments may be needed.
Mexico is set to become the third country to legalize recreational cannabis, following Canada in 2018 and Uruguay in 2013.
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