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Mexican Congress eyes cannabis legalization for economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic

cannabis legalization in mexica

The Mexican parliament is set to focus on cannabis legalization for economic recovery after the Coronavirus pandemic. According to Senator Julio Menchaca Salazar, cannabis is a potential tax revenue generator, which the country can utilize to repair the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 scourge.

Opportunity to advance reforms

Salazar, who flies the flag of the ruling Morena party, believes Congressmen have the chance to advance reforms. While he admits there are details to harmonize, he emphasized that cannabis legalization for economic recovery will be a potential booster that will create tax revenue and employment. 

“We have this opportunity and we are going to take advantage of it,” Sen. Salazar said, adding that farmers would also benefit from the program that would allow them to freely cultivate both marijuana and industrial hemp. Congressmen now demand a physical meeting to discuss the issue.

According to a legalization activist Zara Snapp, the lawmakers have really wanted to discuss the issue.

We knew that during the weeks that they are not physically meeting, it was unlikely that the issue would be discussed because it was something that they really wanted to talk about in person, said Snapp, a member of the Instituto RIA.

The Senator added that legalization would play a crucial role in the country’s pacification course. The present situation where cannabis is criminalized leads to criminal organizations, eventually tarnishing the image of the entire industry.

In the proposed bill, only adults above 18 years would be allowed to possess and cultivate marijuana for recreational use. The bill allows individuals to grow up to 20 registered plants, provided the total yield doesn’t surpass 480 grams annually. It also allows medical patients to cultivate more than 20 plants. For personal use, the bill allows individuals to possess a maximum of 28 grams.

Regulatory body

The bill also advocates for the establishment of the Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis. The agency would be the official regulatory body in the cannabis sector, responsible for “regulating the market and issuing licenses for marijuana businesses.”

Additionally, there would be a 12 percent tax on cannabis sales. A percentage of the generated revenue would go to a special kitty reserved for substance misuse treatment. While it permits public consumption, the bill prohibits smoking in smoke-free zones. It also exempts hemp and CBD from regulations that relate to THC products.

With the zeal to focus on cannabis legalization, the Mexican Congress could soon form a permanent committee to promote the bill. Congressional representatives would then decide on the provisions that have delayed the bill in recent months. While the legalization bill must gain the approval of the full House, the committee would advance and negotiate the process.

Is the cannabis decriminalized in Mexico?

Yes. Mexico decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis to lower the illicit drug activity on 21 August 2009. Maximum amounts that could be considered “personal use” were established.

Is medical cannabis legal in Mexico?

Partly. President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a bill into law to allow the medical use of cannabis products containing not more than 1% of THC, in June 2017.

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