Last November, the Mexican Senate passed a recreational cannabis project, taking the first step on the road of potentially creating the biggest cannabis market in the world.
Most recently, the Chamber of Deputies passed the bill with a few changes. The amended bill was supposed to be approved quickly, but Mexican Senate President Eduardo Ramírez revealed two weeks ago there is no consensus on the changes made by the Chamber of Deputies.
While it may take longer than expected, Ramírez is enthusiastic about the bill being approved before April 20, when the Congressional season and the current Congressional term ends.
Sooner or later, cannabis legislation in Mexico seems inevitable.
What Does This Mean?
Most industry veterans agree Mexico would become the largest legal cannabis market in the world, creating boundless business opportunities, both for international and local companies. More importantly, many hope legalization would help with the country’s long-standing problems with drug cartels.
Ever since the country’s government declared a “war” on drug cartels back in 2016, more than 300, 000 people have lost their lives, and more than 60,000 have disappeared. What makes the problem almost impossible to handle is the fact that many corrupt security forces, businessmen and politicians often team up with organized crime syndicates.
But, is cannabis legalization powerful enough to help the country end the war?
Unfortunately, the answer is probably not.
While Mexico is often considered one of the biggest producers of cannabis, other illegal substances like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are also big sources of revenue for crime groups. What’s more, "the cartels are transnational corporations and they're involved in all kinds of legal and illegal businesses beyond drugs," explains economist and lawyer Edgardo Buscaglia, who is familiar with the structure of the cartels.
One thing is certain, while cannabis legalization in Mexico won’t be able to completely resolve crime problems, it would definitively challenge them, and provide many economic opportunities and benefits to its law-abiding residents.
Seeking to better understand the issue and market potential, Benzinga chatted with Raúl Elizalde, CEO of HempMeds.
HempMeds is a subsidiary of Medical …