On Tuesday, Mexican Senate committees approved legislation seeking to legalize marijuana across the country.
The revised reform legislation that was circulated during the weekend was approved during a joint meeting held on Tuesday by the Justice, Health, Legislative Studies, and Public Safety committees.
The legislation would permit individuals aged 18 and above to possess and grow marijuana for personal use. The people who are of legal age are also allowed to cultivate a maximum of 20 registered plants as long as their overall yield does not exceed 480g per year.
People are also allowed to carry with them a maximum of 28 grams, and the law would also decriminalize possession of up to 200 grams.
The legislation was approved in a majority vote of 26-7.
The next stage for the bill is either for the committees to continue discussing it, and pass the amended version, or proceed to the Senate floor. The legislation will head to the Chamber of Deputies after clearing the Senate.
Under the measure, the Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis would be established to regulate the market and issue marijuana businesses with licenses.
Under the legislation, a tax of 12% would be imposed on all marijuana sales, and the tax proceeds would be used towards a treatment fund for substance abuse.
The measure also allows public consumption of marijuana, but only in consumption lounges. Regulations that apply to products with THC would not be applied to hemp and CBD.
The measure was passed irrespective of the fact that in February, the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that his administration is focused more on medical marijuana reform instead of recreational marijuana legalization.
The legislators are dedicated to reforming marijuana laws concerning medical, adult-use, and industrial purposes of cannabis.
Senator Julio Menchaca of the MORENA ruling party said that the vote is a representation of the significant step the country has made in the fight against violence and fair enforcement of human rights.
Although some issues must be first resolved, Senator Migue Mancera said that he voted for the legislation enabling the country to take the essential step in regulating medical, adult-use, and industrial pot in the country.
The PRI party legislators abstained from voting while the members of the PAN party opposed the bill.
The legislators started working on the wide-ranging draft legislation after the Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting marijuana for personal use is unconstitutional in 2018.
Last year, before the court’s deadline, which was in October, the Senate committees approved the bill, but the lawmakers requested a deadline extension before it reached the floor, which was granted by the court. Now they must pass legislation to end the ban before the end of April.
Marijuana advocates are frustrated with the revised version because it does not address their concerns, such as enhanced social equity, protections for marijuana consumers, as well as ensuring that the market empowers local farmers, particularly those affected by prohibition.
It would be great to hear what comments established companies like HTC Extraction Systems (TSX.V: HTC) (OTCQB: HTPRF) have about this current version of the marijuana legalization law in Mexico.
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