Mexico has once again delayed the legalization of marijuana and hemp. The potential future of the measure is now more anticipated than ever. The decision (originally set for April 30) was postponed due to the pandemic.
They pressed pause on the process of legalization, missing the deadline originally set by Mexico’s supreme court. Because of this delay, “lawmakers have to pass a legalization bill during their next scheduled legislative session, which runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15,” according to Hemp Industry Daily.
Before the latest setback, the senate committee approved a legalization bill that came from a consensus between political parties.
According to the Daily, Mexico would be “the world’s most populous country with legalized cannabis regardless of THC content, meaning both marijuana and hemp,” if it in fact passes.
This delay, while frustrating, is not entirely a bad thing; it offers lawmakers time to organize and discuss how they can improve the measure. Even if, or when, the legislation is passed, it will take years to construct and put into place regulations around the growing and selling of cannabis products.
Denver’s Hoban Law Group’s Luis Armendáriz, an attorney in Chihuahua, Mexico offered Hemp Industry Daily’s Ivan Moreno insight on what the bill will bring to the Mexican people.
This bill will “legalize, at a federal level, the use of cannabis for all uses-medical, recreational, and industrial. It’s going to create an industry in a market that has 130 million people, so that’s one of the appealing parts of this process,” says Armendáriz, who specializes in the hemp and marijuana spheres. “It’s going to create a new agency that’s going to be called the Mexican Cannabis Institute, it’s going to be planned [by] the secretary of the interior. This new agency is going to be in charge of supervision, oversight, and more importantly, granting or issuing the licenses, which are going to be five: cultivation, processing or transformation, sale, import/export, and research purposes.”
He also shared specifics as to how much one individual will be able to legally possess. “In terms of possession, it’s increased from 5 grams to 28 grams; if you have possession between 28 grams to 100 grams you are subject to a fine, but not jail. And over 200 grams, then provisions from the criminal code apply,” he said.
Armendáriz insists that legalizing hemp and marijuana is one of the top four priorities on the list for Mexico’s lawmakers. (Number 1 on the list is amnesty for non-violent drug offenses.)
“Both [are] derived from the president’s intention of changing strategy [for] the war on drugs,” he told Moreno.