Cannabis legalization talk runs rampant throughout the United States, as more and more states are finally coming to terms with the fact that this plant deserves to be enjoyed by all. In fact, there are 35 states who have legalized the medical use of marijuana and 15 states who have legalized recreational use of marijuana, plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. But what about our neighbors to the south? Mexico has been in the talks of legalizing cannabis for some time now and it looks like the country is getting close.
Mexicans are holding their breath as it seems more and more likely that the country will finally legalize marijuana in 2021. This could be an incredible opportunity to suppress the country’s drug war and open the door to business opportunities in Mexico and abroad. In 2018, the Mexico’s Supreme Court make a landmark decision in declaring that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional. As a result, Mexican marijuana laws have slowly but surely been reduced.
In 2021, all signs are pointing to the fact that the laws will be changed at a much faster rate. Just this week, Mexico released new rules from their health ministry. These new regulations outlined quality control measures, manufacturing standards, and established regulations for the cultivation of and study of medical cannabis. This is a huge step for the country and should indicate a number of leaps and bounds for the marijuana industry in Mexico.
While marijuana is decriminalized in Mexico under the current laws (as of November 2020), there will be a new vote by the end of April 2021. Internationally, cannabis market experts predict that the legalization could have a major impact on global markets. Currently, there are only two other countries who have legalized cannabis: Uruguay (as of 2013) and Canada (as of 2018). As the potential third country to legalize marijuana, Mexico could make major waves on an international level.
Many believe that if Mexico makes cannabis legal, we may reach a tipping point where a number of other countries follow suit. Predictions note that Latin American countries may follow Mexico’s lead, especially since the country shares such an enormous border with the United States. There is another notable shift taking place at the same time as Mexico may legalize cannabis, the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs finally removed medicinal marijuana from its dangerous narcotic classification. This was almost 60 years in the making and a huge step for marijuana across the globe.
It must be mentioned that there is a big question mark surrounding predictions of how the cartels will react to marijuana legalization in Mexico. A number of experts forecast a minimal impact initially, noting that cartels will eventually be forced to compete on quality. The United States is known for its high-quality cannabis, and it is likely that legalization will push Mexico to achieve similar goals.
The writing on the wall seems to point out that Mexico will be legalizing cannabis very soon. While this is great for the industry as a whole, it does point out that soon the United States risks falling behind the global market. As more and more countries shift policy, it will be on the U.S. to wake up and take a stand in order to compete.