The Mexican Senate is getting ready to argue a policy that would legalize cannabis in the country.
Thanks to the alignment of the justice, health and legislative studies commissions in the Mexican Senate, the policy was approved and now heads to the Senate, where it will be discussed and reviewed.
The ruling from the three divisions was approved with a final vote of 26 compared to seven against while eight abstained on Wednesday (March 4).
Luis Armendariz, a partner at CAAM Legal and a legal expert on the cannabis industry, told the Investing News Network (INN) that after an expected win for the bill at the next stage, it will take time for the industry to get going and for the creation of the agency tasked with regulating the market to be created.
In an email response, Armendariz said he expects once Mexican businesses begin to obtain licenses and settle in the market, partnerships with international partners will begin to take form.
“There are Mexican business owners looking for foreign partners to commercialize their already existing products with brands in countries like US and Canada,” Armendariz said.
▶️ #HoyEnElSenado las Comisiones Unidas de Justicia, de @salud_comision y de Estudios Legislativos Segunda aprobaron en lo general un dictamen que expide la Ley para la Regulación del #Cannabis, así como reformas a la Ley General de Salud y al Código Penal Federal. pic.twitter.com/9u7i9Zbksv
— Senado de México (@senadomexicano) March 4, 2020
According to a report from El Universal, the eventual law would set up an entirely new policy to oversee the industry along with changes in the General Law on Health and the Federal Penal Code.
This potential bill, as currently constructed, would allow people to possess up to 28 grams of cannabis and institute a 12 percent suggested tax on all products.
Despite the anticipation and cultural impact attached to the legalization effort, some business minds are not thrilled about the current path of reform in Mexico. Alfredo Alvarez, a business partner of Mexican-based Canncura, told Marijuana Business Daily the policy as it stands would cause overregulation for licenses and limit business integration.
Armendariz agrees with the sentiment that the current policy is too restrictive for businesses. However, he told INN this is still a massive step for the country and its relationship with the drug.
It’s been a long road for the country ever since the government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hinted at its interest in working out a cannabis policy.
The Mexican government is facing a deadline of April 30 for the legalization of the drug as part of a Supreme Court ruling in the country.
Armendariz told INN he is fully expecting the legalization process to be completed before the deadline given that in his opinion the biggest obstacle for the policy was guaranteeing an agreement between the political parties to put the bill forward for a vote. Given that the ruling party, MORENA, is also in control of the Chamber of Deputies, the expert doesn’t expect a problem with the passing of the motion.
However, despite the interest in the legalization process for the drug, Lopez Obrador threw a curveball at the entire path ahead for the drug after he claimed to support only medical use. A report from The Yucatan Times indicated as part of his daily press remarks, the Mexican president showed his disdain for recreational drug use with a video presentation.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.