Mexico has again postponed its legalization of cannabis and hemp. The decision, originally set for 30 April, was postponed until at least September due to the coronavirus pandemic and the suspension of legislative activities.

Due to this delay, legislators will have to adopt the legalization bill at their next scheduled legislative session, which runs from 1 September to 15 December.

Before this latest setback, the Justice, Health, and Laws Committees, attached to the Mexican Senate, approved the cannabis legalization bill, an important step as it requires a consensus of all political parties.

The delay, however, should enable legislators to improve the measure. Key criticisms include strengthening provisions on social equity, providing protections for cannabis consumers, and ensuring that the market empowers domestic farmers, especially those most affected by the war on drugs.

The bill would allow adults 18 years of age and older to possess and grow cannabis for personal use. Individuals would be able to grow up to 20 plants as long as the total yield does not exceed 480 grams per year. Medical patients could apply to grow more than 20 plants.

While personal possession is limited to 28 grams, a maximum of 200 grams in possession is decriminalized.

The Mexican Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis, a decentralized body established from time to time, would be responsible for regulating the market and licensing cannabis companies. The bill proposes a 12 % tax on cannabis sales, part of the proceeds of which would go to a drug treatment fund.

Public consumption would be allowed, except in non-smoking areas. Hemp and CBD would be exempted from THC regulations.

Once the legislation is adopted, the implementation of regulations concerning the cultivation and sale of cannabis products could take several months or even years.

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