The Majority Leader of the Mexican Senate has revealed that his chamber is most likely to pass a marijuana legalization bill by the end of this month.
Ever since the country’s Supreme Court declared back in 2018 that it was unconstitutional to outlaw the personal possession and use of marijuana by adults in the country, activists have been restless as they await an appropriate law to operationalize the ruling of the top court in the land.
Nevertheless, some of the activists are unhappy with the current bill before Senate because they feel that it doesn’t go far enough to ensure equitable access to the industry once legalization takes place.
Despite the Supreme Court giving the government a deadline extension until mid-December, Ricardo Monreal of the ruling MORENA party, who also happens to be the majority leader, says that a floor vote is likely to take place within the next two weeks.
Currently, it isn’t clear how the bill will be handled in the Senate. Some people speculate that the shortage of time will compel the legislators to send the draft bill straight to the floor of the upper chamber instead of taking it through the committee process as is the norm.
Once the Senate approves the marijuana legalization bill, it will be sent to the other legislative chamber called the Chamber of Deputies.
Earlier this year, the legalization bill was considered and passed by several committees of the Senate. However, progress in passing the law ground to a halt when the COVID-19 outbreak made it impossible for further negotiations on the proposed law to take place.
Under the bill, adults who are at least 18 years old could cultivate and possess marijuana for their personal use. Individuals would also be allowed to grow up to 20 marijuana plants, on condition that the total annual harvest from those plants doesn’t exceed 480grams. Patients registered to use medical marijuana will however be allowed to apply for permission to cultivate more than the 20 plants allowed for recreational users.
The bill suggests that marijuana sales would attract a 12 percent tax and some of the revenue generated will be allocated to a treatment plan for substance abuse.
People will also be allowed to consume marijuana in public, with the exception of zones which are deemed to require 100% freedom from smoking, such as school and hospital premises. The bill also stipulates that CBD and hemp wouldn’t be governed by the laws which apply to THC products.
With a group of activists camped just outside the Senate premises having a massive collection of marijuana plants from which they allow passersby to light up a joint in solidarity with their cause, it is only a matter of time before the legislature passes the long-awaited law. It remains to be seen what cannabis entities like Sugarmade, Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) make of the regional implications of the legalization of pot in Mexico.
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