Forbes covered the latest developments in the legalization of medical and recreation cannabis use in Mexico. Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has expressed interest in legalization and last week, the country’s Supreme Court ruled that anti-cannabis laws were unconstitutional. However, Mexico isn’t the only country looking at decriminalizing cannabis and the US’s stance on cannabis is baring its entry into a lucrative market.
As more countries set forth to legalize the plant, the US is falling behind because the federal government still classifies cannabis in the same category as heroin, LSD and methamphetamine. Many US companies and investors have been locked out of the market due to this stance. As US companies are forced to sit on the sidelines, foreign companies are securing global distribution rights, creating supply chains and establishing subsidiaries that pass over the US, hurting its economy and stunting the growth of their domestic cannabis industry.
If and when the US decides to legalize cannabis on a federal level, US cannabis companies are going to be behind their well-funded foreign competitors. Until then, US cannabis companies will need to think of other ways to gain the opportunities and funding that they need to grow. They may want to take an interest in the strategies that foreign companies, such as Colombia-based Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (TSXV:KHRN) and sponsor cannabis conferences with the aim of educating legislators about the plant. Khiron was able to impress the former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who joined Khiron’s board shortly after the conference. Fox will be an asset for the company as they move forward with their Latin American expansion plans.
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