Three years ago, the Supreme Court in Mexico ruled that the country’s ban on cannabis consumption was unconstitutional, ending decades of cannabis prohibition and requiring that lawmakers reform cannabis laws. Mexico’s Congress was granted a deadline to repeal prohibitionist cannabis policies, now considered unconstitutional, but policymakers failed to do so within the allotted time. Both chambers of Congress spent months discussing and working on a legalization bill, repeatedly asking the court to extend the deadline.
Last year, the Senate passed a bill and sent it to the Chamber of Deputies, which made revisions and sent it back. However, after a few Senate committees took up and cleared the amended measure, some leaders stated that the amendments made the legislation unworkable. This June, three years after the Supreme Court first declared that cannabis prohibition in the country was illegal, the Senate voted to put an end to prohibition on its own after lawmakers failed to act in time. However, since all the top court did was decriminalize cannabis, the country still did not have regulations for legally sanctioned sales.
Now a top Mexican senator has indicated that lawmakers may finally pass a cannabis legalization bill during the new session. During a press conference, Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal Avila said that lawmakers plan on filling this gap, which is the lack of regulations, during this session. They have a chance to deliberate upon and approve the “long-overdue law,” he says, ending a century of cannabis prohibition and criminalization. The legislation would in turn open the country to a nationwide and international multimillion dollar market and help to reactivate Mexico’s economy.
The cannabis legislation passed by the Senate may need further revisions before it is ready for passing during this session, Avila noted, including modifications to tax collection frameworks. Both chambers need to strive to create a bill that guarantees the freedoms and rights of all people involved, eradicate discriminatory treatment, in addition to “solve possible ambiguities,” says Monreal. Back in April, he urged lawmakers not to allow commercial interests, especially the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, to pressure them to prematurely pass a bill, stating that it was important they take their time to formulate an equitable and socially conscious bill.
But Senator Eduardo Ramirez Aguilar from Morena said at the time that lawmakers should pass the bill as it was presented to them and work on fine-tuning it later through additional revisions. As it is, the cannabis legalization proposal allows adults who are at least 18 years old to purchase as well as possess a maximum of 28 grams of cannabis as well as grow up to six plants for their personal use.
For internationally focused cannabis companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC), the developments in nearby Mexico could be of great interest since they have the potential to impact the dynamics of the international marijuana industry.
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