CANNABIS CULTURE – On March 4, 2020, three Mexican Senate Committees approved in a joint session, generally, the cannabis bill – last version circulated on February 28, 2020 (the “Bill”). The Committees’ approval places such Bill on its way to Senate’s general vote.During the meeting, specific reservations were brought by Senators who voted in favor of the bill. Such reservations (i.e. exceptions for potential minor changes) relate to recreational user rights, obstacles for the emergence of the hemp industry, and barriers for market entry affecting farmer communities, among other subjects. The controversial provisions that poise obstacles for the hemp industry from the absence of a clear distinction between cannabis and hemp regulation, which may deter the birth and development of such industry.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, assuming the Bill’s legislative process is successful and eventually concludes with the publication of the new law, the agency tasked with regulating the market and issuing available licenses (Instituto Mexicano del Cannabis, or Mexican Cannabis Institute) is set to be operating allegedly by January of 2021.
It is important to highlight that restrictive provisions, such as the 49% limit on foreign investment and the ban on vertical integration, still remain in the Bill. All in