Aside from grinding most economies to a halt, the Coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted drug legalization campaigns all over the world. The scene in Mexico wasn’t much different. Legislators had been working on marijuana legalization when efforts to curb the spread of the virus made it impossible for them to complete the bill by the original April 2020 deadline.
However, the Mexican Supreme Court has granted a request to extend the deadline for marijuana legalization. This isn’t the first roadblock the legalization bill has run into. It all started when a precedent-setting ruling by the Supreme Court in 2018 deemed the country’s ban on marijuana unconstitutional.
Mexico’s Congress was granted 90 days to repeal its marijuana laws, but it became apparent that the lawmakers wouldn’t be able to make the October 2019 deadline. With lawmakers unable to find a consensus on aspects of the bill, Senate leaders requested an extension. The court approved the request, stating that the circumstances were exceptional and unique and that it took into account the ‘complexity of the matter.’
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus came along and disrupted life as we know it. With most legislative activities put on hold, the chances of the Bill being completed in time became slim. With the new deadline extension, lawmakers will have until December 15, the end of the next legislative session to tackle the marijuana legalization bill.
Despite not being completed, the bill has gone through a lot of work. In early March, Mexican senators circulated a draft bill that contained a series of proposed regulations for a legal marijuana model. Adults 18 years and older would be allowed to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use.
An individual would be permitted to grow up to 20 registered plants as long as the total yield isn’t more than 480 grams per year. Medical marijuana patients, however, would be allowed to grow more than 20 plants. The bill would also cap personal possession at 28 grams and decriminalize possession of up to 200 grams.
It would establish the Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis, a decentralized body that would be responsible for regulating the market and issuing licenses to marijuana businesses. Cannabis sales would be taxed at 12% and some of the tax revenue would go toward a substance misuse treatment fund.
Additionally, public consumption would be permitted as long as the space isn’t designated as 100% smoke-free.
Experts think the news of the deadline extension didn’t come as a surprise to the cannabis industry, including companies like Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE: GGB) (OTCQB: GGBXF), which saw the disruptions of the current pandemic as far-reaching.
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