Mexico’s Cannabis Legalization and the Impact on the World
Cannabis legalization is officially on the table for Mexico in 2021, and that’s seemingly good news for millions of Mexicans. Legalization could potentially help decrease the country’s rampant narco-violence and create local and international business opportunities.
Mexico’s health ministry recently published new rules regarding the legal use of medicinal cannabis and was reportedly agreed to by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. These regulations are quite robust insomuch that they establish regulations for the study and cultivation of medical cannabis, in addition to laying out quality control and manufacturing standards.
If Mexico continues to pull through with its marijuana legalization bill in 2021, it will undoubtedly have a ripple effect on both local and international cannabis fronts. The question at hand is, however, more precisely one that reflects ‘how’ legalization will affect various communities and entire countries.
What Legalization Means for Mexican Society
The key components of the pending recreational cannabis legalization bill are as follows:
- Adults 18 and older will be able to legally possess and purchase up to 28
grams of cannabis and grow up to six plants
- Regulate the budding new cannabis industry, Mexican Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis will be established
- Preference will be given to applications by low-income or marginalized communities
for cannabis licenses for the first 5 years of legislation.
- Possession of up to 200 grams of cannabis will be the legal maximum amount
- Consumption will be allowed in homes where all adults have given consent to private
How will the Cartels React?
One of the biggest questions around Mexico’s cannabis legalization revolves around the extent to which it will affect the nation’s drug trafficking organizations, better known as the cartels. Since the Mexican government started its war on the cartels in 2006, hundreds of thousands have perished or have been adversely affected by the conflict. Now, the country is poised to try the legalization of cannabis in tackling the cartels.
On the one hand, we might assume (for various reasons) that legalized cannabis in Mexico will initially have a minor impact on the cartels’ cannabis dealings with the U.S. black market since cannabis only makes up a small percentage of the cartel’s profits.
Mexico’s effect on the Global Markets
Weed legalization in Mexico is similarly expected to be a game-changer for the international cannabis market. If Mexico becomes legalizes both the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, some believe it will create a tipping point for other nations.
Mexico’s cannabis legalization is estimated to maximize access to legal marijuana for people globally, so creating momentum for legalization efforts worldwide. Mexico remains set on becoming the world’s largest legal cannabis market. The legal changes will turn Mexico into the third country in the world to legalize cannabis nationally for recreational use after Uruguay and Canada, and the largest with a potential consumer market of 88 million adults.
Mexico’s effect on the U.S
In the same light of hope for an end to violence and the creation of jobs, Mexican marijuana legalization could adversely affect US cannabis companies in the race to expand internationally. With an entire border county about to boom with cannabis dispensaries, the U.S might soon have new competition of note.
On the flip side of the above argument, while the quality of Mexican-cultivated cannabis is improving, it’s still not as good as legal cannabis produced by licensed growers in the United States. US-grown cannabis is currently the best in the world, hence, it might still take Mexico some time to catch up.
Mexican Cannabis: All Things Considered
Cannabis legalization in Mexico might bring prices down and reduce the black market on which the cartel thrives. But there are no guarantees. To mean that this law is a magic bullet that will reduce crime and homicides, might be a bit too optimistic. Nevertheless, legalization will hold many benefits in terms of conviction and opportunity. We can only wait to see how it unfolds.