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Mexico is Poised to Become the Largest Legal Marijuana Market in the World

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It’s appearing more likely that the U.S might be the last of the North American family to legalize marijuana. It’s been reported that the Mexican government will vote on a bill to legalize cannabis in its nation within the next two weeks. Activists in Mexico have anxiously awaited this move since personal possession and cultivation of cannabis was deemed unconstitutional in 2018.

What We Know:

  • The high court in April granted a second deadline extension to give legislators additional time to enact the policy change, pushing it to December 15th. Ricardo Monreal, the ruling MORENA party’s leader in the Senate, stated the chamber will take action on the bill by late October.
  • Given the tight deadline around the corner to make such a big choice, it’s unclear if the bill will go through the committee process or straight to the floor. According to Marijuana Moment, legalization activist Zara Snapp, who is with the Instituto RIA and the coalition #RegulacionPorLaPaz, stated that advocates remain have heard from senators that the current motion is likely to pass the proposal soon.
  • Should the Mexican Senate pass this bill legalizing marijuana, it will have to make it through one final step. It would have to go before the Chamber of Deputies, which is the other house of the nation’s Congress. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated this past August that the “marijuana reform legislation will advance in the new session”. The bill garnered large approval by several committees earlier this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed many negotiations.
  • A civil rights group by the name of “México Unido” recently outlined its concerns over the current proposal Tuesday with a Twitter thread on their account. The biggest criticism is that the current draft would allow certain companies to monopolize cannabis in the country.

  • Translation of the first tweet on a Twitter thread: “Mexico needs #CannabisLegalConJusticiaSocial (the movement) and the @senadomexicano (Mexican Senate) to legislate by the deadline of December 15th. Here is a thread to explain why it is important to have an inclusive #cannabis market.”
  • As it stands now, the plan would allow adults 18 and older to not only legally possess marijuana but cultivate for commercial and personal use. A person is only allowed to have 20 registered plants as long as their output doesn’t exceed 480 grams per year. Medical patients would be the only exception to the limitations.
  • Personal possession would be limited to 28 grams, but possession of up to 200 grams would be decriminalized. As far as who will be in charge of this new industry, a decentralized body called The Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis, would regulate the market and issuing licenses for marijuana.

Other important details of the plan include a 12 percent tax on cannabis sales and a portion of that revenue would go into a substance misuse treatment fund. Public consumption would be allowed, but still banned in smoke-free spaces. Hemp and CBD would be exempt from regulations only way applying to THC products.

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black Alerts and the host of Boss Mornings and Unmuted Nation. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

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