The Mexican Supreme Court has extended the deadline for marijuana legalization, which it made last year when lawmakers were given up to October 31 to change the policy on prohibition of personal use or cultivation of marijuana by terming it unconstitutional.
The previous ruling had stipulated that the policy be changed by October 31, but it has now been extended to April 30, 2020.
The Mexican Supreme Court granted the extension on Tuesday but publicized it on Friday. Last week, the committee submitted a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill to the Senate. Due to the additional time granted by the Supreme Court, the Senate is going to break down the legalization bill and begin debates on it this week.
The lawmakers requested the extension on Tuesday last week after seeing that it would be impossible to conclude the debate and vote before October 31. Their motion of deadline extension was approved by the court, which noted the complexity of the process. They also observed that the circumstances for the request were unique and exceptional.
Some of the concerns to be discussed by the lawmakers include the monopolization of the marijuana industry by multinational marijuana corporations once they join the legal market. Marijuana advocates have also complained about the strict policies regarding the number of marijuana plants to be cultivated at home.
The legislation which was approved last week by the committees stipulated that 20% of the licenses be awarded to economically disadvantaged persons. The bill also stated that people who are 18 years and above could possess, purchase, and consume marijuana. It also allowed people to cultivate up to four marijuana plants.
Since the Supreme Court ruling, the legislators have been submitting various bills that were used to make the legislative reforms. The policies were also developed from the input gathered from the solicited public information on reform proposals.
The Senate might add several policies to the legislation since they have six months to act on the legislative reform. The Senate Health committee also filed a new bill this week. The bill might be added to the proposed changes because the advocates feel that it is an improvement to the last proposal, which was to be voted on. For instance, the new legislation allows people to grow a maximum of 6 plants and possess a maximum of 30 grams of marijuana; however, the new bill prohibits edibles and THC-infused beverages.
The Mexican Senate has not reached a consensus about marijuana legalization in the country and how it should look. But, the leaders still insist that they are close to finalizing the comprehensive marijuana legalization plan. The Senate leader of the MORENA Party, Senator Monreal, said that the Senate would vote on the bill in the first weeks of November. However, after the Supreme Court extended the deadline by several months, it is not yet clear if he will also extend further.
After approval by the Senate, the legislation will be forwarded to the Chamber of Deputies and, finally, the president’s desk.
It would be interesting to learn what established cannabis companies like Neutra Corp. (OTC: NTRR) and Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI) have to say about the possible regional implications of marijuana legalization in Mexico.
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