As the world economy hits a new low every day due to the COVID-19 outbreak, countries are scrambling to keep themselves afloat. Mexico, where cannabis has remained an illegal trade till now, is discussing whether legalizing it could be a revenue earner for the state.
With most businesses shut and no signs of a vaccine on the horizon, governments have the tough task of ensuring income generation.
Sen. Julio Ramón Menchaca Salaza, an advocate for legalization of cannabis, said that the reform will not only benefit the government but also farmers who will be able to grow cannabis and hemp for industrial purposes.
“We have this opportunity and we are going to take advantage of it,” the Senator said.
The bill, if passed, would allow adults over 18 to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use.
Individuals will be allowed to grow up to 20 registered plants as long as the total yield does not exceed 480 grams per year. Personal possession would be capped at 28 grams, but possession of up to 200 grams would be decriminalized.
📌 Las comisiones de Justicia, de Salud y de Estudios Legislativos Segunda se reúnen con especialistas para analizar temas relativos a la regulación de la marihuana. pic.twitter.com/boq7IW15LT
— Senado de México (@senadomexicano) February 26, 2020
Market regulation and licenses would be in the hands of The Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis which will be established specifically for this purpose.
A 12% tax has been proposed on sales of cannabis products. Hemp and CBD would be exempt from regulations that apply to THC products.
As all meetings and proceedings have been put on indefinite hold, it is uncertain when the Congressmen will be able to meet to discuss the ramifications of the bill.
The Supreme Court had asked the Congress to decide on the legalization route but the process has been delayed several times already as the members wish to meet physically to discuss the bill in depth.
It remains to be seen what the effect of legalization would be on the large criminal organizations spread across the country who trade in cannabis illegally.