As part of the second phase of emergency measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the Mexican government has announced that it is postponing most legislative activities, casting serious doubt on its ability to meet the 30 April deadline set by the Supreme Court for legalizing cannabis.

No date has yet been announced for the resumption of legislative work, but the Supreme Court, which could have extended the deadline, has also suspended its activities until 19 April.

Earlier this month, Senate committees approved a draft law on legalization, but the document still has to go through the Senate’s plenary assembly, the Chamber of Deputies, and then be signed by the president.

The Supreme Court had initially set the deadline in October 2019, but after the Senate failed to reach a consensus, the deadline was extended to the end of April 2020.

When the bill is signed, the country will still have to create a regulatory agency and then set up its industry, which will operate under a system of licenses and permits to grow, process or distribute cannabis.

The latest version of the bill:

  • Authorizes the possession of 28 grams of cannabis and the cultivation of four plants.
  • Restricts foreign investment in a licensee to 49% .
  • Blocks the possibility of having several types of licenses (cultivation, processing, distribution…) in the same company.
  • prioritizes disadvantaged agrarian communities to enter the cannabis industry.

In addition to recreational cannabis, the bill would also legalize medical cannabis and industrial hemp. The United States would then find itself “stuck” between two countries that can produce cannabis on a large scale and export it to other countries that have also legalized it.

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