Senator Julio Menchaca of the MORENA party announced last week that cannabis legislation was making its way to the members of the government. Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the nationwide ban on personal use and possession of cannabis was unconstitutional.
While Mexico came close to passing a bill last year after a series of committee meetings, an extension was requested last minute.
The reason for why exactly the extension was requested was unclear. Sen. Ricardo Monreal Avila has noted that while the revised bill is moving in the right direction, not enough has been made of the bill and how it will handle social equity and the transition to the legal market.
Congress has a new deadline of April to approve the new legalization bill with Mechaca reiterating the committees interest in passing it by the end of the month. He stated,” Prohibition has generated a lot of violence in the last 100 years.” The benefit to organized crime was not lost on him as well, citing the new bill allowing up to 28 grams of cannabis for personal use and cultivation of up to four plants.
A new regulatory body-- The Mexican Cannabis Institute-- will be responsible for issuing licensing for businesses and market rules. Provisions to promote social equity are included. Imminent passing may be optimistic, but top lawmakers see the bill passing much earlier than the April deadline.
The main point of contestation comes from those who believe the bill does not do enough for social justice. There was pushback on earlier revisions and there will be push back on the current project.If approved by the Senate, the next approval would have to come from the Chamber of Deputies.