Mexican lawmakers are getting back to the business of building a legal pot sector.
After several Supreme Court rulings declared cannabis prohibition unconstitutional, Mexico has faced a ticking clock to pass laws that comply with the court’s decisions. Lawmakers missed a late 2019 deadline to have a pot bill enacted, but the Supreme Court has since granted an extension until April 2020.
“From February 1, the day work begins in the Union Congress, the regulation of the [cannabis] plant will be one of the main issues in this period,” the Mexican Senate said in a statement provided to the Spanish-language Reforma newspaper.
According to the legislative agenda of the ruling Morena Party obtained by Cannabis Professional, cannabis is among the top five policy priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
Currently, lawmakers are split between two very different options for a legal cannabis market: some back an open market that allows foreign players such as Canadian companies to invest freely, while others prefer a completely state-run model similar to government-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (a.k.a. Pemex) controlling the entire Mexican fossil fuel industry.
Using the late 2019 deadline as a guide, experts had previously predicted Mexico would have a legal cannabis regime in place similar in complexity to the Canadian regime as soon as 2021. Now, the earliest brick-and-mortar sales are expected to begin is 2023.