Mexico

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An unfortunate fact about politics is that it is not free from outside influence and – occasionally – corruption. This became apparent as Mexico’s legalization deadline approached.

Shocked by the sudden influx of corporate pressure, Mexico decided to delay voting on the bill, despite being on track to meet their deadline, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

However, this could prove complicated, given that the entire process began due to a Supreme Court mandate. Hopefully, the move will provide protection from corporate agendas in Mexico’s legalization process.

 

Corporate Lobbyists Swarm Legislators

 

A legal marijuana industry represents a huge economic opportunity for Mexico. Nobody understands this better than companies either already involved with or interested in joining the new cannabis market.

Unfortunately, many of these organizations and groups overstepped their boundaries and started pushing hard to influence the legislation. Marijuana Business Daily explains:

 

“Citing ‘unprecedented’ pressure from companies trying to influence Mexico’s cannabis legislation, voting on a bill to completely legalize marijuana – including its recreational use – will be delayed, according to media reports. Ricardo Monreal, president of the Senate’s Political Coordination Board (Jucopo) – a governing body of the chamber – told Milenio the bill ‘won’t be voted on this week, as was planned.’”

 

Had it not been for this sudden influx, the bill would have been voted on by October 29th. Now, thanks to these aforementioned lobbyists, the legislation will be addressed in in early November.

 

Trying to “Shield Legislators”

 

It is rather commendable that the Mexican government recognizes the dangers of outside influencers, be they corporate lobbyists, special interest groups or other organizations. According to Marijuana Business Daily, the government is taking steps to distance itself from outside influence:

 

“Monreal said Jucopo will now ensure that lobbying in the Senate remains under control. He said the body would ‘shield’ legislators from external influences, according to Excelsior. The responsibility of the bill would remain within the combined commissions of Justice, Health and Legislative Studies.”

 

By keep these influencers at arms length, it ensures that the legalization bill will be written to benefit consumers and the industry.

 

Supreme Court Complications

 

Postponing the legislative vote until November would not be a huge issue under normal circumstances, but this situation is far from normal.

Mexico’s move to legalize marijuana was not voluntary, with the Supreme Court adamant that the country stick to the previously allotted deadline.

Nonetheless, the Mexican government applied for an extension. So far, six judges support the extension, but eight votes in favour are needed. This is where things become murky:

 

“…at least eight members of the Supreme Court are needed to vote favorably. Six already declared to be in favor, but one declared to be against, and there’s uncertainty about the remaining three votes.”

 

Further complicating matters is that the court has started on a declaration of unconstitutionality. This means they can strike down any legislation considered unconstitutional. If they go down this route, it would automatically allow home cultivation of cannabis, but not a framework for the production, distribution or sale of recreational marijuana.

 

 

 

 

 

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After lengthy debate and an array of public input, Mexico finally released details of its draft legislation, which is set to go to a vote soon, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

In its quest to create an effective framework, Mexico looked at Canada for guidance and pondered key issues like government vs. private control of distribution, production, and sales.

Mexico’s legislation is not a carbon copy of Canada’s. It is more restrictive in some areas. But with a population of about 125 million people, Mexico represents the largest cannabis market to date, far outdoing both Canada and the only other legalized country, Uruguay.

Granted, the provisions have not yet been finalized, but what we do see gives a fairly solid picture of what citizens can soon expect from legalization.

 

“Fair Regulation”

 

One key goal in the draft legislation is similar to those enacted by states like Illinois. Mexico decided to give more opportunities to groups and communities who need it most, either because they are disadvantaged or experienced a disproportionate amount of harm from prohibition:

 

“A market with ‘fair regulation’ is a repeated theme throughout the document. The draft bill proposes to regulate cannabis and its derivatives, prioritizing public health, human rights and sustainable development. The measure aims to empower vulnerable Mexican communities to reap the benefits of the law by, for instance, giving those communities special preferences to obtain licenses and authorizations.”

Additionally, the legislation wishes to establish the Cannabis Institute for the Pacification and Reconciliation of the People. This government department’s job will be to review the law one year following legalization and suggest any changes or improvements.

 

What Will Be Legal

 

The new legislation outlines specific uses for cannabis. One notable change is that, in addition to marijuana, industrial hemp will also be fully legal.

Second, recreational use for individuals, shared use and sales – the core of marijuana legalization – will be allowed.

Medical use will continue to be legal.

The aim, according to Marijuana Business Daily is to follow Mexican citizens’ constitutional right of personal autonomy as outlined by the Supreme Court. This includes proper education about health risks without actually infringing on the possession or consumption of cannabis:

 

“Respecting the free will of individuals and their right to health, the state would promote the information based on scientific evidence about the risks associated with cannabis consumption, especially for those 18-25 years old.”

 

Individuals who want to grow cannabis at home will need a permit to do so and have to demonstrate that their seeds came from legal sources. They will be limited to four plants per adult per household. The amount is capped at 20 plants – enough for five adults.

Dispensaries have to display their licenses, only allow adults to enter and cannot sell products exceeding the regulatory THC/CBD limits.

 

Packaging

 

In terms of packaging, Mexico appears to have taken a page right out of Canada’s book. All packaging will have to be plain, with no opportunity for brand recognition.

The material used would have to be “sustainable,” which we assume means environmentally friendly. However, there is no clarification.

 

Restrictions

 

Mexico’s cannabis laws are slightly more restrictive than Canada’s, despite drawing inspiration from that country.

Like in Canada, advertising will be prohibited (hemp products are an exception). Cannabis will not be available in cosmetics and cannot be consumed anywhere tobacco is prohibited. It also is banned in public places like parks, where minors are likely to be present. Additionally, driving under the influence of THC will be illegal.

In terms of sales, Mexico’s system is radically different from Canada’s. Specifically, users must purchase their marijuana from a physical retail store, as online sales are not an option. This is in stark contrast to some provinces in Canada, where individuals can order either online or through a local store.

Finally, edibles and drinks will not be allowed, except for medical use.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Future Presence in the Mexican Cannabis Industry

 

WeedAdvisor is proud to be a global provider of critical business solutions for the cannabis industry. From POS and inventory tracking to compliance and safety, our packages help retailers, licensed producers and government function with reliability, efficiency, and accuracy.

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Mexico is just one day away from submitting its final draft on cannabis legalization, according to Marijuana Business Daily. After that, the country has only a few days to end prohibition, with the senate’s deadline set for October 23rd.

But when stacked next to Canada, Mexico’s situation did not offer a very generous amount of time to prepare. Consequently, the process has been rushed – and it shows.

Despite their best efforts, Mexico’s ultimatum mandated by the Supreme Court to legalize cannabis has caused a lot of difficulty that created a nearly impossible time crunch.

Needless to say, the next few days will be critical.

 

“Reasonable Time”

 

According to Marijuana Moment, Justice Commission Senator Damián Zepeda Vidales asked for “reasonable time” to evaluate the final draft before implementing legalization. Unfortunately, there is one problem – or rather, twelve problems.

Marijuana Moment explains:

 

“The problem is that despite the deadline being less than two weeks away, there remains at least a dozen different proposals. Earlier this month, lower house majority leader Mario Martín Delgado Carrillo introduced a new bill that would create a state monopoly through a public company named Cannsalud. Last month, Menchaca Salazar introduced a bill that would legalize domestic growing.”

 

With a slew of bills still circulating, politicians have their work cut out for them if they hope to finalize their vision of the upcoming framework.

 

Shifting Focus

 

Although there are many legislators with different visions and agendas for legalization, the government simply does not have the time to consider them all. Fortunately, they may not have to:

 

“…local industry sources that spoke with Marijuana Business Daily are confident the bill that is being given priority is the one filed almost a year ago by Olga Sanchez Cordero, then a senator, now secretary of the interior, but with significant modifications.”

 

The other proposals currently in limbo will likely need to be set aside, but this does not mean they will not see the light of day. With a rushed process like this, it is possible that reforms will continue over time.

 

Approval

 

If there is one good thing about this situation, it is that final passage of the law should be relatively smooth. Once the senate votes on the bill, the lower chamber has to approve it. Frankly, they have no choice in the end.

The political climate itself is rather friendly to legalization, but it is not enthusiastic either:

 

“Because the government holds majorities in both houses of congress, no significant opposition is expected. This week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that legalizing marijuana is not his government’s priority, adding uncertainty to an already confusing situation.”

 

WeedAdvisor’s Anticipation for a Mexican Cannabis Market

 

Mexico has a long way to go once the legislative process is complete. Legalizing marijuana on paper is a lot simpler than actually implementing it.

The next few months will be both interesting and nerve-wracking for many individuals. Hopefully, however, WeedAdvisor will soon be able to offer its assistance through business solutions for Mexican licensed producers, retailers and government agencies.

 

 

 

 

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Following a surprise Supreme Court decision and little time to prepare, Mexico appears to have pulled off a historic move in an incredibly short amount of time. According to Marijuana Moment, the government will meet its imposed deadline to legalize recreational marijuana this month.

Although support for legal marijuana in Mexico is strong, the government never took a proactive approach to legalization. But thanks to a unique law, the Supreme Court forced Mexico’s hand.

They were put in a difficult position – establish legalization themselves or have the Supreme Court do it for them. Naturally, they chose the former and it appears they did so successfully.

 

Finally Perfecting a Bill

 

The process is not quite over yet, but Mexico is a hair away from placing the final stamp of approval on their cannabis reform plan. Initially, several different bills were submitted as parties and the public exchanged ideas. Marijuana Moment explains:

 

“There are numerous pieces of legalization legislation already on the table, but Sen. Ricardo Monreal of the MORENA party said his chamber is nearly done crafting a new reform bill that will be the product of weeks of public forums and open-session debates.”

 

Monreal says that, assuming nothing goes wrong, they will be able to keep their scheduled legalization date.

 

Small Changes First

 

Although many politicians intend to have a full-blown industry in place, the list of obligatory issues is much smaller.

The Supreme Court’s order only says the government has to federally legalize possession, consumption and cultivation of cannabis – the three things ruled unconstitutional.

Still, marijuana likely has a bright future, as many “key lawmakers” support the creation of a fully-regulated industry.

However, one of the bill’s panel discussions involved a former U.S. “drug czar,” who provided his own take on how to proceed:

 

“The Senate held a series of events in recent weeks meant to solicit public input on legalization proposals and hear from experts on the issue in order to inform their bill. During one panel, a former White House drug czar spoke about the need for ‘robust regulations’ in a legal cannabis market.”

 

Since there is no constitutional law requiring that the government begin selling a commodity, the Supreme Court cannot force Mexico’s hand. But given the circumstances, offering the drug for recreational sale makes sense.

 

Retail System Under Serious Consideration

 

Many politicians already are in the process of considering what such a system would look like. MORENA party’s Mario Delgado Carillo proposed a fully state-run cannabis retail system. His rational is that it will prevent private cannabis companies from monopolizing the industry.

However, many of his colleagues do not share that sentiment:

 

“Neither Monreal nor President Andrés Manuel López Obrador are in favor of having a state-controlled cannabis program, however…Carrillo later clarified that his bill was designed to reflect a personal preference. Monreal said that he’s willing to incorporate certain ideas from the lawmaker’s proposal…”

 

Whichever course they take, Mexico is likely to take the next step after they take care of their in initial obligations.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Latin American Presence

 

Although nothing is final, we are confident that Mexico will soon join the ranks of Canada and Uruguay with a fully regulated legal cannabis market.

When that day comes, WeedAdvisor will be there to provide critical solutions for government, producers and retailers.

With our help, players on every level of the industry will enjoy a jump in accuracy, efficiency and safety thanks to our many packages custom-build to fit the needs of each client.

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As the deadline to set up cannabis framework looms, Mexico continues its work to fine-tune the upcoming system, according to Marijuana Moment.

Given the history of recent cannabis reform in Canada and the U.S., Mexico has plenty of case studies to look at. However, their model goes in a very different direction compared to legal U.S. states, following an approach to strictly government-run cannabis markets, similar to those in some Canadian provinces.

People in provinces where cannabis would be sold only by the government tended to grumble at the idea, with Ontario scrapping it entirely following the Conservatives being elected. Whether this approach works best for Mexico remains to be seen.

 

Protecting the Industry

 

Although, like any bill, it will undergo some notable changes before it has a chance of passing, the goal of its proposed state-run system focuses on economic protection and public health. Marijuana Moment explains:

 

“Mario Delgado Carrillo, the coordinator of the ruling MORENA party’s bench in the Chamber of Deputies, filed the legislation, arguing that regulating cannabis would promote public health and that having the program overseen by the government would prevent large marijuana companies from monopolizing the industry.”

 

Monopolies are a concern in any industry, including marijuana. It is already observable in Canada, where major companies like Aurora, Organigram and Canopy Growth take up the lion’s share of the market, investing hundreds of millions at home and abroad. Meanwhile, smaller operations often end up as subsidiaries to larger companies.

Carillo further elaborates:

 

“With this [model], the cannabis market is not left to autonomous regulation by individuals, but the state is involved as a constant supervisor and controller of the activity of this substance within a margin of legality that guarantees a benefit for all.”

 

The Canadian Model

 

Prior to drafting their legislation, Mexico looked at different ways to approach it. In the end, they decided to emulate Canada – at least to some extent:

 

“[Mexico’s legislation] appears to be informed by the system enacted in Canada, where cannabis sales are conducted through government stores in some provinces. Mexican lawmakers visited that country last year to learn about its legalization model.”

 

Mexico intends to use a government body to oversee and control every aspect of cannabis production, inspection, regulation, enforcement, distribution and sales. This is similar to frameworks stablished by provinces like Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Quebec, to name a few.

However, Mexico plans to deviate from Canada in terms of who will take responsibility for the aforementioned functions.

Under the Canadian system, provinces are allowed to choose between public, private or both options, while Health Canada does the job of overseeing things like regulation and compliance.

Mexico will instead create an entirely new department, called “Cannasalud” – which, directly translated, is “Cannahealth.” In the bill Carillo describes this governing body as:

 

“exclusive property of the federal government, with a technical, operational and management autonomy for the realization of its primary purpose.”

 

But despite a strong emphasis on federal control, Mexico will at least give its people the freedom to grow up to six plants at home – two more than the maximum allotted for recreational use under Canadian law.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Latin American Presence

 

WeedAdvisor proudly established a presence in South America as it grows alongside the budding medical industries across the continent.

Based on past examples, the initial rollout is full of setbacks and challenges. WeedAdvisor’s business and government solutions are tailored to help the public and private sector create an efficient, safe, reliable and cost-effective system to make the process as smooth as possible.

 

 

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Mexico’s unique journey to legalization is about to hit its peak as the Senate prepares to debate draft legislation for the upcoming cannabis framework.

According to Mexico News Daily, the Senate’s debate on the legislation is set for next week. With the clock ticking, legislators hope to finalize the laws in the following weeks.

Unlike Canada, Uruguay and some U.S. states, the Mexican government had no part to play in legalization. Instead, a Mexican law exists where the Supreme Court automatically deems a law unconstitutional after five successful challenges.

This is precisely what happened. Cases of marijuana possession kept being dismissed as unconstitutional under the premise that they violated individual autonomy or the right to “free development of personality.”

But if history has taught us anything, it is that drafting legal marijuana legislation is a delicate process.

 

Several Proposals to Consider

 

The Mexican Senate faces a lot of work in the coming weeks. Such sweeping legislation brings a variety of different perspectives on how it should be handled. As a result, they have a total of 13 proposals to review – with a great deal of transparency:

 

“Morena Senator and marijuana advocate Jesusa Rodríguez Martínez said that a total of 13 proposals will be reviewed in open sessions during which a range of views, including those of the general public, will be heard.”

 

Mexico’s decision to include the public in this landmark decision process is commendable, given that public opinion in Canada and some parts of the U.S. – while a catalyst for legalization – was not given the same open forum while drafting the laws.

Some argue to this day that the lack of public input led to some poor regulatory decisions.

 

“Robust Regulation”

 

Unsurprisingly, many legislators call for tight government control over cannabis sales for both safety and to avoid youth access:

 

“Gil Kerlikowske, a former director of the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy, said that legalization must be backed by ‘robust regulation’ to ensure that minors don’t have access to the drug.”

 

Kerlikowske emphasized the dangers associated with consumption of THC in underdeveloped brains. Not only does he want to limit direct youth access, but also keep exposure to a minimum.

This would likely lead to a similar approach to Canada’s, limiting or banning advertising and forcing the use of plain packaging, along with strong warning labels.

 

Taxes and Illegal Drug Trade

 

Naturally, one of legal marijuana’s biggest attractions is the potential for tax revenue. Kerlikowske very much acknowledges this, but wants to see the money put to good use:

 

“[Kerlikowske] recommended the imposition of taxes on marijuana and said that the revenue raised should be used for drug prevention and rehabilitation programs and to combat the black market for the drug.”

 

He believes that the key to establishing a controlled, functional, legal marijuana framework requires the elimination of the black market.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Excitement for Mexican Cannabis Legalization

 

WeedAdvisor’s global presence includes a strong focus in the Latin American market. Mexico’s legalization – although quite jarring for some – is a huge opportunity for us to offer our help.

Through our list of effective business solutions, we provide critical tools to help retailers, licensed producers and government start in the right direction to remain efficient, safe and compliant.

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Following a ground-breaking Supreme Court decision in 2018, recreational marijuana bans are currently unenforceable and the government must move to setting up a legal framework.

The government complied (albeit reluctantly) and allocated the summer recess – May 1st to August 31st –  to meet the Supreme Court’s demands.

But according to Mexico News Daily, and interesting trend occurred in the months following the announcement. While the courts rendered their decision in October, 2018, the amount of illegal growth operations destroyed by the military have drastically dropped.

But opium, not marijuana, is much more prevalent. Although it is also at an all-time low, the number of hectares of opium poppies destroyed were significantly larger than those of marijuana.

Whether this correlates with the Supreme Courts decision is a matter of speculation, but something still worth exploring.

 

Significant Drop in Marijuana Operations

 

Mexico is no stranger to the drug trade, with the military directly involved in the literal war on drugs. But unlike the war in the United States, Mexico is making serious headway.

According to Mexico News Daily:

 

“Information provided to the newspaper Milenio by the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) shows that the army destroyed 615.5 hectares of marijuana crops between January 1 and May 9, an average monthly eradication of 143.1 hectares.”

 

While this number may seem substantial, it is rather small compared to statistics from 2014 until now. These new statistics represent a 33% drop in the average monthly hectares compared to the same period in 2018.

More impressively, this indicates an overall reduction of 70% from 2014.

 

Opium a Much Higher Presence

 

Mexico News Daily reports that opium also showed a reduction in presence during the same periods. However, the reduction was lower and leaves opium much further ahead. This makes the victory somewhat bittersweet:

 

“…the bigger crop is the opium poppy. Sedena data shows that the military destroyed 6,704 hectares of poppy crops between January 1 and May 9, more than 10 times greater than the area in which marijuana plantations were destroyed.”

 

This equals out to an average of 1,559 hectares per month. But despite the numbers being roughly much higher than those for marijuana, this still represents a five-year record low.

The question now is whether these statistics indicate opium’s higher popularity, or simply that illegal cannabis producers know their lives will soon be more difficult.

 

Potential Connection with Legalization?

 

Admittedly, there is no evidence that the legalization announcement directly affected marijuana’s presence in the black market. After all, legalization in Canada and some U.S. states did not seem to deter the illegal cannabis trade.

But if we look at the five-year period between 2014 and now, a 33% drop in just five months seems rather substantial.

We also must consider the fact that the Supreme Court declared marijuana possession laws unenforceable. Theoretically, this should embolden consumers and at least create a temporary spike in demand.

Finally, it is important to note that support for legalization in Mexico hovers at approximately 80% – much higher than the roughly 60% and 70% in the U.S. and Canada respectively.

All of these could change the way legalization interacts with the black market. Mexico also had the opportunity to learn from Canada’s mistakes and will hopefully find ways to avoid them.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Presence in Latin America

 

With the Latin American markets opening up, WeedAdvisor sees a lot of potential for businesses in the industry. However, with new industries come new challenges – ones that we know all-too-well.

In an effort to alleviate some of the headaches organizations inevitably face, WeedAdvisor created several different software platforms, offering solutions to improve efficiency, track inventory, establish POS systems enforce compliance and avoid costly fines from accidental violations – to name just a few services.

We look forward to working with our counterparts in Mexico and wish them the best of luck in establishing a successful legal cannabis framework.

 

 

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There has been a lot of buzz lately about marijuana reform in South and Central America. Although Uruguay will always hold the title for being the first country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana, the Green Wave is hitting the continent in one large swoop.

Canadian companies have already seen this opportunity, as South American partners and subsidiaries strike deals for the production and global export of (for now) non-intoxicating CBD.

But reform takes time. At the rate things are going, South America could become the next international cannabis hotspot. Of course, as 420 Intel points out, some spots are hotter than others.

 

Colombia

 

Colombia’s medical cannabis market has been at the centre of the cannabis industry. Thanks to heavy investments from Canadian licensed producers.

Colombia’s ideal climate, cheaper labour and experienced employees (thanks mainly to its role in the illegal marijuana industry during the past) are perfect for growing marijuana. These factors mean that the cost of growing the plant is a fraction of the price in Canada and the U.S., which – in theory – would allow for lower sale prices that might compete with the black market in North America.

Despite significant leaps forward in public attitude toward marijuana, including the decriminalization of public marijuana consumption, Colombia might still need a few years before the public embraces full legalization.

 

Argentina

 

Argentina’s marijuana framework is a little bit murky. Recreational marijuana is decriminalized in small amounts and when used on private property. Medical cannabis is “widely accepted,” but still federally illegal. However, the provinces of Santa Fe and Chubut legalized medical marijuana in 2016.

In 2017, the government approved the medical use of non-intoxicating CBD oil. Aphria quickly jumped on the opportunity, exporting 1,500 bottles of CBD oil to its South American subsidiary in 2018.

 

Uruguay

 

In the cannabis world, Uruguay needs little introduction. Although overshadowed by Canada and 11 U.S. states, Uruguay is still the first country to legalize recreational marijuana.

That being said, the country has some serious issues in that regard. For one thing, users have to register just to buy the drug, its potency is limited and – most recently – supply problems have made it difficult for even a fraction of registered customers to obtain marijuana.

Also, much like in the U.S., banks are skittish about dealing with the marijuana industry. But while U.S. banks are concerned about federal prosecution, banks in Uruguay fear international sanctions – something arguably much worse.

Still, businesses found ways to make the best of the situation. For instance, Aurora Cannabis acquired Uruguay’s ICC Labs in 2018, taking roughly 70% of the total marijuana market in Uruguay.

 

Mexico

 

Mexico arguably takes home the gold in terms of its unique legalization initiative. As we mentioned in previous articles, Mexico’s legal system requires a law to be repealed if it is challenged and won five times in the Supreme Court.

Once the fifth case went in favour of the plaintiff, Mexico had no choice but to change its laws. They are now scrambling to meet an October deadline or they face the possibility of the Supreme Court writing the legislation on the government’s behalf.

However, the law was deemed unenforceable immediately following the ruling. But passing the legislation in only 90 days is just the beginning. The government will need much more time to set up a supply, regulatory framework, distribution and all the other key requirements for a functional legal cannabis system.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Interest in South and Central America

 

It is quite clear that marijuana reform is on everyone’s minds throughout the western hemisphere. Whether progressive and voluntary, like most of South America; or sudden and jarring, like the case with Mexico, it is clear that a largescale marijuana industry is about to boom.

WeedAdvisor, as always, aims to be at the centre of this multilayered event, offering a single platform to cover critical functions like point-of-sale, compliance, real-time data tracking and more.

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With all the chatter surrounding Canada’s recovery and America’s progress in establishing a functional legal marijuana industry, another country’s story ended up on the backburner.

While we mentioned Mexico in the past, the unique nature of their situation and its latest progress deserves a public update. Thanks to Marijuana Business Daily, we now know where things stand.

Time is of the essence in Mexico, as they have until October to establish legislation and a framework to sell, produce and regulate recreational marijuana in the country.

 

A Stressful Legalization Deadline

 

Unlike legalization in every other country to date, Mexico’s reforms were forced upon the government.

In Mexico, five successful challenges against a law in the Supreme Court automatically means that said law is unconstitutional. After meeting the five-case requirement, the judicial branch ordered the government to repeal prohibition on human rights grounds, imposing a deadline for October 2019.

The problem is that the Supreme Court rendered its decision in April of the same year. Given the fact that the government had not had a chance to gear up for legalization, they were caught completely off-guard.

To put this into perspective, Canada passed its legalization law – Bill C-45 (the Cannabis Act) – in November of 2017 – a year ahead of implementation. Prior to that, proposed bills were put back and forth, undergoing multiple debates and revisions. Even with all of the preparation, Canada had to push its original July 1st deadline to October and ran into serious complications during the initial rollout.

 

“Open Parliament”

 

In an effort to obtain as much public input as possible, the Mexican government offers individuals the opportunity to sign up for events through a government website.

As Marijuana Business Daily explains:

 

“The Mexican parliament has created a website to announce a series of events and receive feedback from the public in advance of the expected full legalization of cannabis later this year. Several parliamentary committees are inviting participation in what’s typically called an ‘open parliament.’ The first scheduled event, “Themed Cafe: Towards Cannabis Regulation,” will take place Aug. 12, Aug. 14 and Aug. 16. Each day has three time slots available, each with a capacity for 72 people. Any adult can register to participate in the kickoff event until Aug. 15, or until all slots are reserved, whichever comes first. And more events could be announced.”

 

Mexico also established another website so that citizens can provide written input as the clock ticks forward to legalization.

Once all feedback is gathered, four parliamentary commissions – Health, Justice, Public Safety and Second of Legislative Studies – have to put the pieces together and draft something final.

 

Internal Conflict

 

Unfortunately, this legal situation comes during a difficult time. Relations between the Executive and Judicial branches are little rocky. According to Mexican law, if the government does not fulfill the Supreme Court’s mandate within the allotted time, the Supreme Court renders the final decision.

This could mean that the Judicial branch would draft every rule and regulation with no control or input from other branches of government.

José Trinidad is the Director of Public Affairs at CannCura Pharma, a Mexican medical marijuana company who specializes in research and development. He says:

 

“If the parliament doesn’t legalize by October, the Supreme Court could legislate in its place. There’s currently some tension between the Supreme Court and the executive power. Because the parliament and the executive power are generally aligned, legislation is likely to be in place by October to avoid the Supreme Court doing it.”

 

Of course, rushed legislation could come with its own slew of problems. For Mexico’s sake, let us hope that they make the best of the time they have.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Interest in Foreign Cannabis Markets

 

Once legalization in Mexico inevitably passes, chances are that the country will see demand spike, just like Canada experienced. As we all know, Canada has had its share of issues in recent months, especially pertaining to licensed producers failing in compliance and quality.

This is not something we want to see happening in Mexico (or anywhere, for that matter). In the future, we look forward to discussing our array of business solutions, designed to assist in quality control, compliance, inventory tracking, reporting and real-time data collection, among others.

 

 

 

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As the race for cannabis industry dominance in South America heats up, aspiring companies face just one more challenge – government approval.

For those who have met the requirements, getting licensed to sell and export cannabis products is simply a matter of waiting for the bureaucratic wheel to turn. But as the Daily Marijuana Observer reports, PharmaCielo came in ahead.

With its main headquarters in Canada, PharmaCielo’s Colombian operation functions through a subsidiary in Rionegro, Colombia. It also now has a coveted head start in a massive CBD market.

 

Regulatory Approval an “Extensive Process”

 

In Colombia, getting approved to export and sell cannabis products is no small feat. According to the Daily Marijuana Observer:

 

“The extensive process fulfils the extensive and final regulatory obligations required, including individual approvals by the Colombian Ministries of Health and Justice, in order to commence product exportation.”

 

At this point, tight government control is hardly surprising. Isolates are typically advertised as being 99% pure CBD. However, testing of unregulated products in the U.S., for instance, found that many of these claims were flat-out lies by manufacturers.

Bureaucratic red tape might be delaying competitors from entering the market, but at least it ensures that the product is safe and as advertised.

 

Expanding Globally

 

South America has a huge customer base, but PharmaCielo intends to take its exports worldwide. The Daily Marijuana Observer explains:

 

“PharmaCielo is currently in advanced discussion with previously identified potential customers in multiple global markets, as part of which the export permitting process is a necessity, including logistical relations with its joint venture partners in Italy and Mexico.”

 

However, it does not stop there. PharmaCielo recently acquired Cresno Pharma Ltd., which will be finalized in late 2019. Once this happens, it will add many more countries to PharmaCielo’s client list.

Needless to say, the company positioned itself well to become a leader in cannabis sales and export, both in Colombia and around the world.

 

A Note on CBD Isolate

 

Regulating CBD production is a monumentally positive step on Colombia’s part. Isolates (among other CBD products) are available in the U.S. from hundreds of major sources. Again, lack of regulation means that these items can be hit or miss. But even those that are 99% CBD – regulated or not – are still not the best choice.

There is a huge difference between CBD oil and CBD isolate. Regular CBD oil has a greenish golden colour to it, simply because other cannabinoids and terpenes remain in the final product following extraction.

Oil potency varies. In Canada, for instance, CBD oils come in as high as 25mg/ml – 25%.

Isolate, on the other hand, extracts only CBD before placing it in a carrier, such as MCT or olive oil. This allows manufacturers to put almost pure CBD inside the product. In fact, it happens to be the main ingredient in Epidiolex, the first FDA approved CBD drug.

But isolate has a major disadvantage. Despite the fact that it is about four times more concentrated than its oil counterpart, the lack of terpenes and other cannabinoids actually hampers its efficacy.

Known as the “entourage effect,” cannabinoids and terpenes form a synergistic relationship, allowing users to enjoy a more effective product, despite being notably lower in CBD.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Involvement in the Colombian Cannabis Industry

 

WeedAdvisor is proud to be part of the cannabis revolution in Colombia and all of South America. As companies carve their places in the industry, we will always be available to cover their progress.

More importantly, our vast array of business solutions makes daily operations much easier. These include key functions like compliance monitoring, inventory management, employee supervision and real-time data collection.