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Mexico Likely to Miss Cannabis Legalization Deadline

The road to legalizing cannabis in Mexico has been full of twists, turns, and in some cases dead ends as the deadline approaches soon.

Near the end of 2018, Mexico’s Supreme Court issued a ruling in which cannabis prohibition was deemed to be unconstitutional.

As part of the ruling, the Court set a one-year deadline for lawmakers to pass a legalization measure to implement the ruling and to set up a regulated adult-use cannabis industry.

The initial deadline was not met due to political issues, a second deadline was not met due to the pandemic, and a third deadline was also not met due to the pandemic.

Yet another deadline was granted by the Court, and it appears that lawmakers will fail to meet the latest deadline which expires at the end of April.

‘Extensive Reflection’

The cause of the latest delay is rooted in political disagreements in Mexico regarding what the final language of the legalization measure should include.

Mexico’s Senate passed a legalization measure near the end of last year, however, when the measure went to the Chamber of Deputies various provisions were changed.

Those changes have resulted in allegations in Mexico’s Senate that the updated provisions have created ‘inconsistencies’ and may even be unconstitutional.

Mexico’s Senate majority leader Ricardo Monreal Avila recently spoke about the need for ‘extensive reflection’ in forming cannabis legalization, legislation appears to be conceding that the latest deadline will not be met.

Unique Challenges Ahead of Deadline

The latest delay in Mexico is certainly frustrating. Mexico is on the cusp of legalization, and that’s been the case since late 2018. Yet, the final passage of a measure has remained elusive.

Cannabis advocates around the globe thought that Mexico was virtually guaranteed to become the third nation to pass an adult-use legalization measure behind Uruguay and Canada.

However, Mexico’s unique challenges have proven to be too daunting, at least up to this point.

If Mexico does end up being the third country to legalize cannabis for adult use it will become the largest legal adult-use cannabis market on earth.

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