July 29, 2021

Partido de López Obrador presents bill to market cannabis

Partido de López Obrador presents bill to market cannabis

The National Regeneration Movement (Morena), party of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, today presented a draft law in the Senate for the regulation of cannabis, contemplating its planting and commercialization for therapeutic, pharmaceutical and recreational purposes.

"The model that is proposed to promote is the model of strict legal regulation, that is, the midpoint between absolute prohibition and the free market," explains the project, published on the official website of the Senate.

The next Mexican Minister of the Interior and current Senator, Olga Sánchez Cordero, presented the initiative on the General Law for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis in the upper chamber, where Morena has 59 of the 128 seats.

This regulation seeks to "minimize risks and damages related to cannabis use" and, at the same time, "promote its use to obtain greater profits".

Among the characteristics of the "strictly regulated" market, it stands out that it will be "legal" and controlled "throughout the value chain".

Thus, the creation of a register or register of production volumes will be carried out and the different government agencies in charge will be coordinated.

Despite its commercialization, the prohibition of promotion, sponsorship and advertising of cannabis and its derivatives for personal use will be sought.

The law is based on the interpretation of the Constitution that allows each individual to "choose their own life plan" and where the State must "respect personal autonomy", but avoid "such autonomy affecting others".

The regulation will seek to protect the health of people against a psychoactive product, minimize the alteration of potency of cannabis components, promote information, protect minors, establish the sale of cannabis as "a socially responsible service" and facilitate the programs of rehabilitation.

If approved as expected, the law will apply to "the sowing, cultivation, harvesting, production, transformation, labeling, packaging, promotion, advertising, sponsorship, transportation, distribution, sale, marketing, carrying and consumption of cannabis and its derivatives. , for personal, scientific and commercial purposes ".

It includes several prohibitions, including the sale or donation of cannabis products to minors or employing them in any related activity.

It would also be "strictly forbidden" to drive under the effect of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

At the same time, it establishes different types of production: for personal use (self-consumption and cooperative), for scientific and research use and for commercial use (therapeutic, pharmaceutical, adult and industrial).

On self-consumption, will allow an annual production of cannabis that does not exceed 480 grams and force people to register with the Mexican Institute for Regulation and Creation of Cannabis, which will be created.

Cooperatives must also be registered before this body.

Regarding adult use, it establishes that it is also allowed to sell cannabis with "playful purposes" as long as it has a license and is limited to specific establishments.

In addition, "smoking cannabis is allowed in public spaces, except for spaces 100% free of tobacco smoke."

This initiative comes after the Supreme Court on October 31 established jurisprudence for the recreational use of marijuana, ruling, for the fifth time, the unconstitutionality of the absolute prohibition to the recreational use of the plant.

For the Secretary General of Mexico United against Delinquency (MUCD), Juan Francisco Torres Landa, the initiative means "oxygen" in terms of drug regulation.

However, this lawyer told Efe his expectation that it is only the beginning of a "more radical" path towards the regulation of all drugs.

Positively, he considered that if this initiative is approved, it will have an impact on drug trafficking, which has one of its main markets in the planting and sale of marijuana.

However, he warned that there is no need to bet on a free market that, for example, ends up boosting the pharmaceutical industry.

Torres Landa, who in 2015 received an injunction to cultivate and consume marijuana for recreational purposes, recalled that Morena has a majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

In addition, the initiative will be presented by Sánchez Cordero, ex-magistrate of the Supreme Court and considered right-hand of López Obrador.

All this would result in the initiative prospering easily in both chambers, being approved in the coming weeks, estimated the expert.

On the other hand, the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) presented on Monday the lines on the sanitary control of cannabis and its derivatives, with pharmacological, medical and research purposes.


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