Mexico has a deadline to finalize their plans to legalize cannabis in the country. The December 15 deadline is quickly approaching and it seems that lawmakers has some form of regulatory plan in the works. The problem is – cannabis activists believes that the measures favors bigger corporations while alienating rural farmers and not doing much in order to deter the negative effects of the drug war.
In fact, there has been an ongoing campaign to change some of the statutes of the proposed regulations.
“The truth is we’re just a few weeks away from the vote and we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Julio Salazar, a senior lawyer and legalization advocate with the nonprofit group Mexico United Against Crime. “I’m not sure if the initiative being pushed by Congress actually makes things better. It makes a cannabis market for the rich and continues to use criminal law to perpetuate a drug war that has damaged the poorest people with the least opportunities.” – Source
The proposal lawmakers are submitting would allow private companies to sell cannabis to the public [which is a good thing considering Mexico will have the largest legal market in the world post-legalization]. However, individuals would be limited to growing up to six plants and would need to register to purchase cannabis legally.
This latter point is one of the biggest points of contention for the activists that claim that having to register will deter many legal consumers to remain in the black market. Commercial sellers would need to implement “seed to sale” tracking systems similar to California, which activists claim would make it difficult for rural growers and small-scale growers to sustain their operations due to a high overhead.
“We want a legal framework that can bring some of these players in from the illegal market into a legal one,” said Zara Snapp, co-founder of the RIA Institute, a Mexico City-based drug policy research and advocacy group. “The purchase price needs to be low enough to undercut the illegal market for consumers. … You also have to make sure there are enough entry points for [growers] to move over.”
If 30 percent of growers can be drawn into the legal market, she said, “that’s 30 percent that are paying taxes and out of the shadows, when before it was zero percent.” – Source [Washington Post]
The lawmakers involved with all of the happenings failed to respond to any of the questions sent by international news publications.
What will happen in December?
Of course, this would mean that legally an individual in Mexico would be able to grow up to six plants and cannabis would be legal for anyone who is 18-years-old and older. While the law may pass this year, regulatory processes will not be ready till at least the end of 2021.
Nonetheless, there will probably new license applications coming out sometime next year. Fortunately, private companies have the right to participate in the lucrative Mexican cannabis market meaning that the next time you can go to Cancun or Puerto Vallarta, you’ll probably be able to buy some cannabis from a store. This is – if you don’t have to register to buy or the registration is limited to Mexicans.
Let’s hope that the advocates can help pressure law makers enough to remove this draconian provision from the law.
What will this mean for the US?
If the US lags behind and doesn’t legalize soon, it could mean that Mexico grows into a large producer of cannabis with the ability to produce high quantities of cannabis at a significant lower price point than in the US due to labor cost, weather and so forth.
I have a theory that the US will legalize cannabis federally sometime next year, if not this December. I doubt very much that Mexico would move ahead with legalization without the US knowing about.
In all likeliness, the US legalizes after Mexico and become the main buyer of Mexican weed – legally. The difference being that Mexican weed will no longer be Shwag, since private companies will be participating within the market place.
For the US, this means lower priced products to the end consumer and a new line of international commerce. The US will probably end up buying raw materials and processing it, turning it into products and then selling it back to the suppliers. It has been their model for a while now.
It seems to work for most other industries and I can imagine that it would be very similar for the cannabis industry.
We’ll have to wait and see if this December we see cannabis legalized in North America – wouldn’t that be a crazy way to end off 2020?
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