Once home to El Chapo Guzman, leader of one of the most infamous cartels, Mexico is famously known to some as one of the largest countries with a concerning drug trafficking problem. However, with October approaching, Mexico could be the third country – along with Uruguay and Canada – to legalize cannabis nationwide. The United States of America legalized hemp nationwide when Donald Trump signed the bipartisan Farm Bill into law last December. Currently, eleven states (and Washington, DC) have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and 33 states have legalized medical marijuana.
Mexican senator, Julio Menchaca Salazar of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party, introduced legislation that establishes Mexico’s cannabis regulatory laws. Upon Julio’s proposal, the Senate has 90 days to come to a decision; it expires October of 2019. Mexican government officials have been meeting throughout recent months to discuss plans for cannabis regulation, as well as hosting a forum in April, called “Towards a Policy to Regulate Cannabis” as a means for lawmakers and policy experts to provide feedback.
“I think the cartels will lose 40 percent of their income with [marijuana] legal here and in the US,” said Vicente Fox, Mexico’s president from 2000 to 2006, who now sits on the board of Canadian cannabis company Khiron Life Sciences, which is entering the Mexican market.
Sanchez Cordero, a former supreme court judge, believes that legalizing cannabis is a huge revenue generator and that it will help to break the illegal supply of cannabis. Some believe that legalizing cannabis will result in drug dealers pushing harder drugs on their clientele. Security expert, Alejandro Hope believes that the official legalization of cannabis will not cut down violence in Mexico; it may actually increase it.
“This is not a security issue. This is an issue about public freedoms. If you frame this as a magic wand to reduce violence, we are in for a major disappointment,” he said. “Go for it … but it will not bring peace.”
As Mexico is taking time to come to a decision on potentially legalizing cannabis, the world is watching. Large licensed producers in Canada, such as Aurora Cannabis and Khiron, are keeping a keen eye on Mexico to potentially open pharmacies with a medical cannabis license. Aphria, another large licensed producer from Canada, is considering the development of the vaping market in Mexico upon legalization. In the meantime, as the United States of America is considering legalizing cannabis, President Donald Trump, may ban vaping; a very large and lucrative market in the Cannabis industry.
With Canada, the United States, and Mexico being so geographically close together, their economies are very intertwined. If this trinity fully legalized cannabis, it could impact the world by creating more jobs and revenue. The future looks green, financially and figuratively speaking.
Stay tuned for more updates following Mexico’s long-awaited, potential legalization of cannabis. How do you think Mexico will impact the cannabis industry? Leave a comment below to keep the conversation going.