Mexico inches one step closer towards legalization

Published Mar 20, 2021 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / SomeMeans

The lower house of Congress in Mexico has approved a new bill, one that could officially decriminalize cannabis and its derivatives for scientific, recreational, and medicinal use. This move brings the country within reach of significant change, and it could be the starting point of what is predicted to be the largest cannabis industry yet. The bill, backed by President Andres Manuel Lopez, is a glimmer of hope that might help to reduce the amount of violence seen in the region between Mexico’s drug cartels.

Winning by a landslide

Lawmakers in Mexico approved the new bill, with only 127 against and an incredible 316 in favor of marijuana reform. If passed, the new rules would create a base for which entrepreneurs to take over, as it would allow everything from cultivation and sales to transportation, imports, and exports of cannabis goods. The decision is one for the history books, and it’s been a long time coming, as the majority of surrounding countries have already gone ahead with some form of legalization.

At the very end of 2013, Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis for both production and sale. Other neighboring regions, including Argentina, Columbia, Chile and Peru followed suit, but they only approved medical marijuana reform rather than coming up with rules as well as regulations to govern recreational markets.

How much will the bill change for consumers?

The bill would create a process to apply for and distribute 5 separate types of cannabis licenses for things like:

  • Cannabis sales
  • Growing cannabis
  • Extraction
  • Scientific research

It would also make it so that all legal aged adults (18+) could buy, cultivate, use, or possess cannabis without breaking the law.

What’s next?


Mexico’s residents and consumers are celebrating the huge victory, but the fight isn’t over yet. The bill will need to be revised by the Senate and then approved before becoming law, a process that could take another 2 years or more to complete.

More pressure on the Unites States to accept legalization

So far, several US states have legalized cannabis for recreational consumption, and dozens have accepted that medical weed plays an important role in the well-being of people. Still, federal legalization feels like a distant dream, as the government has refused to take a clear leadership role. Of course, for some, this was expected, but the heat is cranked up, and once Mexico introduces legalization, most believe that it will put pressure on the United States to open up to the green scene.

In 2018 Canada legalized weed for recreational use, following a long extensive medical program that was quite successful, and since then, Canadians have spent a small fortune on the green market. It’s a happy place to be for cannabis enthusiasts, but it’s not the only space that’s willing and accepting. Several US states along with most of the surrounding countries offer legal weed to all paying legal aged adults, a trend that will eventually be followed.

The federal government will have to admit defeat at some point, especially once American consumers are flocking to dispensaries that inject millions of dollars into economies that are not their own. It’s a waste to make people cross state or country borders just to get pot, especially when the country could benefit greatly from a financial boost after the long and drawn-out devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mexico will be home to the biggest legal cannabis market in the world


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