By Emily Ledger
Towards the end of October, it seemed that Mexican lawmakers were preparing to finalise the legalisation of adult-use recreational Cannabis. However, just ahead of the Supreme Court-imposed deadline, the Senate Committee appealed for an extension. An extension was granted until the 30th of April 2020.
The Mexican Cannabis Legalisation Debate
Mexico’s legal Cannabis debate received a fresh lease of life on Halloween 2018, following a verdict from the country’s Supreme Court. It was declared that the country’s ban on adult use, possession, and cultivation of recreational Cannabis, was unlawful.
This was the fifth ruling from the Court on similar issues surrounding the Cannabis legislation. As a result, lawmakers are effectively forced to make legislative changes that reflect the decisions.
The October 24th Deadline
Following the verdict last year, the Supreme Court announced a deadline of October 24th, 2019 for lawmakers to agree upon the new Cannabis legislation. This provided almost a year for agreements to be reached. However, the 42-page final bill was not published until the 17th of October – just a week before the deadline.
The draft legislation was based on the original bill put forward by former Senator Olga Sánchez Cordero, but also incorporated bills from other politicians. It was expected to be passed by the Senate just in time for the October deadline. However, this did not happen, and a six-month extension was instead agreed upon.
Some of the more significant points in the draft legislation relate to prioritising vulnerable citizens within the country when creating the legal Cannabis industry. This would mean giving precedence to these populations, over international businesses, when considering license approvals.
The final bill would also restrict big businesses from becoming fully, vertically-integrated in Mexico’s new Cannabis industry. As a result, businesses could only hold one license at any one time: cultivation, processing, or distribution, etc…
Some large Cannabis companies were undoubtedly rather disappointed with these plans. The CEO of CannabisOne, Joe Mascio and even made plans to meet with lawmakers and the media in Mexico in order to “be able to control all of that until the supply chains are actually more developed.”
What the final recreational Cannabis market will look like in Mexico is yet to be decided…
Similarly to our previous report on the Mexican Cannabis legalisation debate, the final regulations on the industry are yet to be decided. Whether the Senate will reach an agreement on the required legislation, before the April deadline, also remains to be seen.