How will the legalization of Cannabis in Mexico affect the US Cannabis Industry and Drug Cartels?

Mexico’s Senate, set to pass new Cannabis policies before this Halloween arrives, has everyone on their toes awaiting the new bill that may (or may not) legalize adult-use Cannabis. 

Senator Ricardo Monreal of the National Regeneration Movement told the press they intend to have the bill presented and signed into law by the end of October. 

Lawmakers are up against a Supreme Court deadline issued in 2018, when justices ruled that the Mexican ban on cannabis was unconstitutional, effectively repealing the Mexican Cannabis prohibition. 

Mexico Legalizes Cannabis

Legislators are working on several different potential proposals, but it’s not yet clear if lawmakers will proactively press forward into regulating cannabis sales and production. 

Indicators suggest that a state-controlled cannabis program such as the one Canada has is off the books for now, and reports from El Universal have the Chamber of Duties Coordinator, Mario Delgado Carrillo, clarifying that their bill highlights a policy that reflects personal preference. 

Can you imagine the quintessential land of drug cartels switching to a legal and regulated cannabis industry? Perhaps, but it won’t happen overnight. 

What is more likely is that Mexico will begin to end its failed war on drugs by introducing policies decriminalizing cannabis and hemp at the federal level. 

They’ll stop arresting citizens for personal use and cultivation and (probably) look the other way on small-time marijuana dealers until they can prepare better regulations.

Reports suggest that, even though the Senate’s deadline is just under a week away, there are still almost a dozen different proposals for marijuana policy in Mexico. 

This week, Mexican president André Manuel López Obrador threw a wrench into the mix by saying that legalizing Cannabis is not his government’s priority. 

Drug Cartels Losing Thanks to Legalization

After weeks of meetings, hearings, and input on legalization plans the Senate is now down to the wire. At one of those meetings, a former White House Drug czar spoke about the need for “robust regulations” in a legal cannabis market. 

How will Mexico’s new Cannabis policy affect illegal drug trade and border security? That’s a complex question, but now that more States on the border have Cannabis programs, at least for medical purposes, we have some interesting data to draw upon. 

In short, legalizing and regulating Cannabis takes the business out of the hands of criminals and drug cartels; effectively reducing profitability and subsequently violent crimes related to the illegal drug trade. 

A recent study published in The Economic Journal investigated the effect of legalizing marijuana on related crime and violence and found that wherever medical marijuana is legalized, violent crime drops significantly.  

Our results are consistent with the theory that decriminalization of the production and distribution of marijuana leads to a reduction in violent crime in markets that are traditionally controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organizations.

Legalize Cannabis Senator

USA vs. Mexico on Cannabis Legalization

As legalization becomes the norm, expect to see more areas embrace adult use and pot culture, while other states and counties experiment with a more conservative approach. 

Could you take a Tijuana vacation and hit up a legal dispensary by summer 2020? Not quite yet! 

Expect a slow rollout that first requires peeling back the political layers of marijuana prohibition with decriminalization, allowing new marijuana policies to inevitably expand access into medical marijuana patients and, ultimately, into adult use markets.  

Aurora Cannabis, one of the world’s largest cannabis companies, is already prepared for Mexico’s new policy change after acquiring a 12,000 sq. ft. facility in Mexico City and receiving a federal license to import medical marijuana to Mexico. One day soon you may be able to legally enjoy Cannafornia’s High-Grade Cannabis on a sunny beach in Mexico. For now we wait for news from the Mexican Senate on their new cannabis laws.

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