Mexican officials extend deadline for recreational cannabis bill

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Mexico’s recreational cannabis bill, which was expected to be approved on October 31, will not be considered for another six months. This is according to recent reports, which revealed how the Mexican Supreme Court made a unanimous decision to extend the October 28 deadline.

Cannabis advocates in Mexico were hopeful that the plant’s legal status would change this year. However, it seems that they will have to remain patient if they wish to see a change in Mexico’s cannabis laws. The MORENA party has attributed the deadline extension to the fact that lawmakers were faced with an unprecedented lobbying ahead of the vote.

April 30, 2020 is the new deadline date for the Mexican Senate to legalize recreational cannabis. Following numerous committee approvals, the bill made its way to the Senate at the start of November.

Lawmakers expected to continue discussing Mexico’s cannabis bill throughout November

Multinational corporate interests are being pondered over by lawmakers, according to Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal. He says that lawmakers will continue contemplating Mexico’s cannabis legalization bill during “the first weeks of November.” 

“The truth is there are many interests,” Monreal announced prior to the missed deadline for recreational cannabis in Mexico, at which point he began showing signs of concern that a decision would not be made on time.

Just a few days before his concerns arose – on October 26 – Monreal updated his Twitter account with a Tweet stating that Mexico’s cannabis legalization bill would likely pass “within days.” 

According to Monreal, Jucopo will now focus on keeping pro-cannabis lobbyists from stirring up too much of an atmosphere in the Senate. External influences will not sway legislators in making their decision, says Monreal.

The commissions of Health, Justice and Legislative Studies will share responsibility in terms of overseeing the progress of Mexico’s cannabis legalization bill. Priority will be awarded to small and micro-plot cultivators, based on the current draft of the bill to legalize recreational cannabis in Mexico.

Also included in the draft language is a section saying that – for the first five years after recreational cannabis legalization in Mexico is enacted – a minimum of 20 percent of all grow licenses will be distributed among campesinos or cooperatives in areas that have seen illicit grow operations shut down. 

No later than January 1, 2021, the Mexican Cannabis Institute will be established as a government agency; responsible for bestowing licenses upon Mexico’s top growers.

If a report from Marijuana Moment is accurate, an amended chunk of legislation would enable Mexicans to grow a maximum of six plants for personal use and possess a maximum of 30 grams.

Mexican Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to prohibition recreational legalization in 2018

The idea of legalizing weed in Mexico has been up in the air for a while now. One year ago, on October 31, 2018, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled against the ban on adult-use cannabis consumption; ruling that the U.S. territory’s prohibitionist approach to possession and consumption was unconstitutional.

An attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in Mexico was even initiated by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who made a promise to his people that he would tackle illegal drug cartel-related violence by legalizing the plant in its entirety. Obrador is optimistic that cannabis legalization in Mexico would dismantle the thriving black market.

The Supreme Court is reportedly in the process of creating a general declaration of unconstitutionality, due to the missed deadline for Mexico’s cannabis legalization bill.