Senate committee says Mexico cannabis legalization is main priority this year

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

One of Mexico’s leading Senators has reassured weed advocates that his chamber will be prioritizing the issue of cannabis reform in Mexico during the forthcoming legislative session. Sen. Ricardo Monreal – a member of The National Regeneration Movement, A.K.A. “The MORENA Party” – discussed 17 separate prohibition-related predicaments that he intends on resolving with the chamber’s parliamentary groups.

Monreal’s primary motive for talking about cannabis legalization in Mexico was to elaborate on the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling that described prohibition as “unconstitutional”. The 59-year-old Mexican politician also serves as president of the Senate’s Political Coordination Board.

“These are all priorities for us,” Monreal announced during the press conference. He claims that the Senate will “return to the issue of jurisdiction and raise the welfare system, pensions for the elderly, cannabis, outsourcing, judicial reform, financial system reform, circular economy, electoral reform [and] animal welfare to constitutional status,” once Congress recongregates on February 1.

Cannabis legalization in Mexico came close in 2019

During the press conference, Monreal scrutinized court rules and policies; stating that lawmakers are obligated to put together the regulatory foundations for a legal cannabis industry in Mexico.

The legal framework was almost hashed out last year, when a bill gained support from various Senate committees. However, just as the Supreme Court’s October 31, 2019 deadline edged closer, the voting date was extended.

Lawmakers decided to submit a deadline extension request after a senator claimed that an “unprecedented” level of lobbying had arisen. The court approved the extension a few days before the deadline.

Congress has until April 30 to settle the matter of cannabis legalization in Mexico

It was on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 that Mexico’s Supreme Court permitted Congress an additional six months to ponder over cannabis legalization in Mexico. In the event that cannabis is legalized across the Latin American country, it will become the largest recreational cannabis market in terms of population.

Based on the details of the proposed rules for Mexico’s recreational cannabis industry, vertical integration, license resale and foreign ownership would be prohibited. This is not great news for outside investors, since they would be shunned from participating in Mexico’s adult-use cannabis market.

The latest proposal in the Senate would permit the maximum legal possession of 28 grams of cannabis for personal consumption; government licenses would not need to be applied for. Currently, it remains uncertain as to whether or not lawmakers will take until the April 30 deadline to make a decision.