Mexico one step away from becoming world’s largest legal weed market

Last Thursday, Mexico’s Senate approved a landmark cannabis legalization bill, another big move towards the country’s legalization of marijuana. The vote was a landslide, with senators voting 82 votes to 18 and seven abstentions, but it still needs to pass through the lower house of Congress for final approval. If the initiative passes, it will mark […]

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Recreational Cannabis in Colombia – Coming Soon?

In the last few years, Colombia has been shaping up its legal cannabis policies, legalizing medical cannabis and quickly joining the global medical cannabis market. Now, new legislation climbing its way through Colombian Congress, means that recreational cannabis in Colombia is one step closer to becoming a reality.

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Colombia and drugs in general

Before getting into the specifics of cannabis law in Colombia, and whether recreational cannabis in Colombia will happen, it’s important to understand the situation that Colombia is in with its drug trade.

The first thing to know about Colombia and drugs, of course, is that Colombia is the biggest global hub for cocaine production, and has been for quite some time. It’s estimated that in 2019, approximately 70% of the cocaine consumed in the world, came from Colombia. It’s also estimated that in that year, approximately 18 million people consumed the drug worldwide. Because of the constant infiltration of law enforcement, most of the coca grown in Colombia is grown in more remote areas. Law enforcement, for its part, has been attempting to eradicate fields over the years, by enforcing crop substitutions and even spraying toxic chemicals over fields where coca plants are rumored to be grown. Despite these efforts, its estimated that in 2017, 1,379 tons of cocaine were produced in the country. Efforts of law enforcement to stop the trade cripple the 130,000 families that subsist from farming and selling coca.

To give an idea how much money is made off the cocaine industry, it takes about 125 kilos of coca to produce one kilo of cocaine. This costs a local drug lab about $137.50. Once this is converted into actual cocaine, the value is increased to $2,269. Once it gets to where its going, that same kilo can bring in approximately $60,000 in revenue in a place like the US, or even more in other locations. This is a massive trade in Colombia, and its led to massive amounts of violence.

Colombia cocaine trade

When looking for the ‘all told’ measure of this violence, it’s extremely difficult to find actual death tolls. While there are a few random and varying numbers out there, none of them are direct or verifiable, and while we are all aware of the tremendous destruction of this trade, no one seems to be able to say how destructive. In fact, when questioned about it in light of the Netflix drama Narcos, and a statement made on the show about one kilo of cocaine costing six lives each, former DEA head of intelligence in Colombia, Elizabeth Zili stated, “I really couldn’t give you a number, but it was extremely high. We never totally trusted the statistics we were getting from the [Colombian] government. One never does, no matter where you are.”

The same BBC article did some math to try to figure out if the six people per one kilo made any sense even in 1992, and found the number to be extremely high, even when looking at total global deaths. It established at that time a Colombian murder rate of approximately 80 per 100,000. Even though the murder rate has been cut in half since that time, Colombia still has one of the higher murder rates with approximately 25 murders for every 100,000 people in 2019. This can be compared to the US where the rate in 2018 was 5 per 100,000.

But the funniest part about all of it? These massive cocaine trafficking networks that have been used over the years, started as pathways for the trafficking of – you guessed it – marijuana. In fact, prior to its foray into cocaine, Colombia was providing the majority of cannabis to the US in the 70’s.

Colombia and cannabis

When it comes to cannabis, much like Uruguay, Colombia has been a bit more lax than other places, but a lot of this has been directly to combat issues of drug violence. In general, cannabis is illegal for commercial sale and use, however, unless a person is committing a major cannabis crime, the punishments aren’t that dire. In 1994, around the time of Pablo Escobar’s death, Colombia decriminalized both the personal use and possession of cannabis and other drugs. This was further expounded on in 2012 when it was established that a person could have up to 20 grams without being prosecuted. It was even expanded on further with a Constitutional Court ruling in 2015 which then allowed personal cultivation of up to 20 plants.

In 2018, this was gone back on when president Ivan Duque put forth a decree saying cops could, in fact, confiscate even small amounts of cannabis, and while this didn’t apply criminal penalties to offenders, it did institute a fine of up to 208,000 pesos. It also put a ban on people being able to carry small amounts of cannabis, something that the Constitutional Court already ruled was okay. Consequently, the following year (2019), the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled that parts of Duque’s decree were unconstitutional. This didn’t get rid of the cops being able to search and confiscate drugs, but it did mean no consequences for up to 20 grams as related earlier by the Constitutional Court ruling.

Sale and supply crimes are most certainly illegal, and having more than 20 grams is considered possession with intent to sell. The maximum prison sentence is up to 20 years, surpassing the punishment for a rape.

Colombian drug war

If it needs to be said, being caught trafficking any drug in Colombia is going to get you in some pretty hot water. Here’s the basic breakdown for what’ll happen to you if you’re dumb enough to transport illegal substances across borders:

  • 10+ kg of cannabis, 2 kg of cocaine, 60 grams poppy-based drugs (like heroin) = 10-30 years in prison.
  • 1000+ kg cannabis, 5kg cocaine, 2 kg poppy-based drugs (like heroin) = 23-30 years in prison.

Medical marijuana and how to get in on it

At the very end of 2015, President Juan Miguel Santos signed legislation for a regulated medical cannabis market. He stated, “This decree allows licenses to be granted for the possession of seeds, cannabis plants and marijuana.” On July 6th, 2016, Colombian Congress approved law 1787 to create a regulatory framework, which was itself enacted in 2017 through Decree 613. While much is written about the investment opportunities that have been opened up through this, the ability to actually obtain cannabis medications for locals seems to be hindered by supply issues, misinformation, and limitations in development and research. The four licenses that can be applied for to enter the legal medical cannabis market are the following:

  • Manufacture of cannabis derivatives – Allows the production of cannabis-derived products for use and scientific research domestically, and for exportation. Interested parties can check details and pricing here.
  • Use of cannabis seeds – Allows sale and distribution of cannabis seeds, as well as use for scientific purposes. Check links for details and pricing.
  • Cultivation of psychoactive cannabis – Allows the cultivation of cannabis as a crop, the production of cannabis derivatives (along with the first license mentioned), use for scientific purposes, storage of cannabis, disposal of cannabis, and production of cannabis seeds. Details for this license can be found here.
  • Cultivation of non-psychoactive cannabis – Allows the production of cannabis seeds for planting, the manufacture of derivatives, industrial uses, and for scientific purposes, as well as storage and disposal. If interested, check for details here.

So…what’s the deal with recreational?

What should be noticed is that Colombia is not the most stringent country when it comes to cannabis laws, and has been updating at quick speeds to allow for more freedoms. So, what about the final legalization for recreational cannabis? While it’s not quite there yet, it really doesn’t seem to be far off, with legislation already starting to make its way through the channels of government. Here’s what’s going on right now in terms of recreational cannabis in Colombia:

recreational cannabis

1st initiative for recreational cannabis in Colombia – Approved on September 16th by the first committee of the Lower House by a vote of 18-17, allowing it to move forward in the Lower House. It was, unfortunately, not able to make it past the next debate in the Lower House, and is being shelved for now. This initiative was led by opposition legislator Juan Carlos Lozada, and if it passes (in the future) it would amend Colombian Constitution article 49 which currently states, “the carrying and consumption of narcotic or psychotropic substances is prohibited unless prescribed by a doctor.” The amendment would therefore have lifted this ban and legalized cannabis for recreational use, and would actually be in line with previous rulings of Colombia’s highest court, the Constitutional Court. To become law, the bill faced eight debates, four each at the Lower House and Senate. It did not make it through this time around, but I keep it here to show what has been happening, and what could come up again in the future.

2nd initiative for recreational cannabis in Colombia – This includes 38 lawmakers led by center-right and opposition parties, initiated by two senators, Gustavo Bolivar and Luis Fernando Velasco. This bill aims to regulate the production and consumption of marijuana, in essence creating a legal framework for its recreational use. The initiative does expressly ban marijuana use for minors, its promotion and advertisement, as well as establishing specific sites for adult use. In order to become law, this bill must be approved by the end of next year, but as it is a separate bill and not an amendment to an existing law, it only requires four debates to pass. The first debate had been set for end of October, moved to Mid-November, but doesn’t seem to have happened yet. While governments have been moving slower in light of the Coronoavirus pandemic, the bill is still very much alive. Those pushing this bill point out how Uruguay diverted around 40% of business from cartels, established 500 jobs, and received €100 million in investments by 2018. They have also pointed out how prohibiting consumption has never led consumers to not be able to access the drug.

Conclusion

Uruguay had a similar problem to Colombia, though not nearly as intense. In order to cut down on the black-market trade of cannabis, it legalized it and established a government-run system to regulate it. Colombia has already done a lot to limit drug violence, decriminalizing many drugs in an effort to thwart it, and the cartels that promote it. A recreational legalization would certainly go in line with this, and I expect that if the current bill doesn’t pass, the next one to be introduced will. It might very well be that with Uruguay, Mexico’s impending legalization, and recreational cannabis in Colombia likely following suit soon, south of the border will be the place to go for legal marijuana.

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Resources

Germany Rejected Its Recreational Cannabis Bill
New Zealand Voted NO to Cannabis Legalization

German Cannabis Flower Market is Ready to Explode
Uruguay Was The First Country to Legalize Cannabis – How Are They Doing Now?

Fly with Cannabis – Which Countries Let You Do It Newest Cannabinoid Powerhouse – CBC – What Can It Do for You?
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Legal for a Day – The Mahashivaratri Festival and Nepal’s Changing Cannabis Laws
Will Mexico Become Biggest Legal Cannabis Market?
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Paraguay Grows it, Brazil Takes it… Will New Cannabis Laws Change Anything?

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020. Cannabis Election Results – Why Israel Is (and will continue to be) A Global Leader in the Cannabis Industry
Mexico Still Waiting on Its Promised Cannabis Legalization
How the Cannabis Industry is Saving Small Towns Across America
Argentina Legalized Medical Cannabis in 2017 – and Gives It Away for Free
Uruguay Was The First Country to Legalize Cannabis – How Are They Doing Now?

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Fly with Cannabis – Which Countries Let You Do It

As cannabis becomes legal in more places and in more ways, old rules are changing to let in new marijuana-friendly rules. Whereas once the sky was completely off limits to the smokable drug, things are starting to change. In fact, believe it or not, some countries now let passengers fly with cannabis.

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Different ways to be legal

Not only does every country have its own laws regarding the use, possession, sale, cultivation, and import/export of cannabis, but often these categories too can be broken down further into medical legalizations, recreational legalizations, and even religious legalizations, each with its own set of laws concerning use, possession, sale, cultivation, and import/export.

Right now, in terms of full recreational legalizations, there are only a few places that apply. Uruguay; Canada; the US states that have independently legalized; Mexico, although until legislation comes out in December, it’s technically only a judicial legalization, with no regulated system for sale of products; and Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Then there’re places like Washington DC, and Georgia (the country, not the state), which have wonkier recreational legalizations. In DC, a person can possess and use, but can’t buy or sell, although cultivation is legal. In Georgia, it’s the same, but without the cultivation part, making for a strange system where using a product is actually legal, but there is no legal way to obtain it.

travel with cannabis

When it comes to medical legalizations, these have become ubiquitous in the world. From South American countries like Argentina and Uruguay; to the majority of European countries; to Australia & New Zealand; to African countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho, though these countries don’t always guarantee the use of cannabis for their own people, and are more geared toward the business end, and exportation to other markets. Nearly every US state has medical legalization; even some Asian countries like Thailand; and Middle Eastern countries like Lebanon, which just became the first of the region (apart from Israel) to allow this.

And then there are the more elusive religious legalizations, which have been coming into play more recently. The most well-known religion to use cannabis sacramentally is Rastafarianism, although others do exist. Due to the Rastafarian religion, countries like Jamaica and Barbados have specific laws that allow the use of cannabis for religious purposes. And though there isn’t an actual written law attached to it, Nepal allows cannabis to be smoked without harassment by law enforcement, for one day a year to celebrate the Mahashivrati festival.

Where can you fly with cannabis

To be clear, there are no legalized locations – recreational, medical, or religious – that have laws allowing the transport of cannabis across country borders. What this means is, whatever the legalization policy, and whatever might be allowed within a country’s borders, this has no bearing on anything, anywhere else. No country will allow you to legally cross its border with cannabis. To make it even more clear, even if a person is attempting to fly with cannabis from one recreational legalized location to another – let’s say Toronto to California, this too is not possible.

However, this doesn’t mean that making it into the sky legally with marijuana is impossible, and there are a couple countries that now let you do it. The first is Canada. As a completely legalized country, recreational marijuana is legal all throughout. As of recently, it also became legal to fly from one province to another in Canada with up to 30 grams in either a carry-on or checked bag. This does not permit passengers to light-up on the plane, but it does let them bring their stash from place to place.

cannabis in the sky

Then there’s South Africa. Though South Africa doesn’t technically make it to the legalized list, it’s one of those countries that actually kind of is. Since September, 2018, due to a constitutional court ruling, South Africa actually does allow adults to have and use cannabis at home (with no specific limit set), and for personal cultivation in the home. According to a police directive following the ruling, it is also completely legal for adult South Africans to fly with cannabis in small amounts, on plane flights within the country. As per the directive, it must be an amount that makes sense for personal consumption, and it should be well hidden. And of course, it can’t actually be used in a public place like an airport.

As mentioned previously, this means nothing for international travel, and is confined entirely to the borders of South Africa and Canada.

Why not the US?

The US is still a prickly place when it comes to federal cannabis law. While the majority of states have medical legalizations, and about 1/3 now allow recreational usage as of the last election, federal law still considers cannabis to be a schedule I drug. This makes it a controlled substance, that technically has no medical purpose. As such, even if a person is travelling between California and Colorado with no stops in between, it’s still illegal to fly with cannabis since air travel goes by federal mandates.

Just in case you were thinking, ‘hey, I’ll just take my weed on the train instead’, this too is not legally possible. Amtrak, the main train company in the US, does not allow cannabis in any form or for any purpose. Neither does Greyhound, the biggest busing company in the US. Passengers on these transportation services will be unlikely to have bags checked, but being found with marijuana on them can certainly result in some trouble. There are other smaller train and bus lines, but I have yet to hear of any that allow cannabis.

As an interesting point, though it’s not legal to fly with cannabis in the US, airports like LAX in Los Angeles, and O’Hare in Chicago do allow outbound passengers to enter the airports with cannabis. The two mentioned airports allow up to one ounce. This doesn’t mean that passengers can actually bring the cannabis onto a plane, and are required to throw it away, or deposit into an amnesty box if available, if they want to board.

If you’re wondering about whether it helps to have a medical marijuana card at the airport with you, it should be remembered that while a traveler might be treated with a little more leniency, that it won’t really get them off the hook. If this happens in a state with no medical program, the flyer is completely out of luck. If it happens locally in a state with a program, local police can evaluate the situation.

Fly with cannabis
cannabis at airport

When it comes to CBD, TSA specifically states on its website, “Marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA. (See the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334.)  TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities.”

What about CBD in general?

CBD, as the darling grandchild of marijuana, gets away with a lot more all over the world. While many countries still have restrictions, the EU, for example, allows it on flights so long as the THC content is within the legal limit of .2%. The stipulation here is that the product must also meet the regulatory laws of the specific country of entry. If a product is caught at customs that does not meet the regulatory requirements of the country, it will likely be confiscated and the offender may face local law enforcement. Whether this will change or not with the ruling of France vs the EU remains to be seen. Though the case is about trade restrictions with a focus on CBD, it relates to the idea of whether an individual EU country can break with EU mandate. It’s quite possible that if France loses, it will soon be legal to fly anywhere in the EU with CBD.

CBD represents a gray area since so many different locations have their own specifications. Whether it’s legal at all, how much THC is in it, what part of the plant was used, and what plant it was sourced from… If the country of departure and the country of entry are both okay with the product in question, the traveler will likely be just fine. But this isn’t a rule.

Conclusion

A few years ago, no one in South Africa or Canada was thinking they could show up at an airport and expect to board a flight with a bag of weed in their pocket. It might not be a globally widespread practice just yet, but as laws loosen up concerning the legality of cannabis, more and more locations will likely open their airspace to marijuana-carrying passengers, and it will become more and more common to fly with cannabis.

CBDtesters is your one-stop-shop for all cannabis-related news. Visit us regularly so you never miss anything, and sign up to our newsletter to keep on top of everything!

Resources

Is Croatia Trying to Legalize Recreational Cannabis?
Mexico Still Waiting on Its Promised Cannabis Legalization

German Cannabis Flower Market is Ready to Explode
Recreational Cannabis is Legal in Georgia – But Who Knew?

South Africa Introduces Some of the Most Lax Laws on Cannabis Yet Newest Cannabinoid Powerhouse – CBC – What Can It Do for You?
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Legal for a Day – The Mahashivaratri Festival and Nepal’s Changing Cannabis Laws
Medical Cannabis Tourism Rising: Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and Thailand Set to Cash In
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Thailand is 1st Asian Country to Legalize Medicinal Cannabis and Enter Global Market

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020. Cannabis Election Results – What Just Became Legal in the United States
Is Australia’s Capital Leading the Way for Legal Cannabis Down Under?

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// New Jersey Senate Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Despite Contentious Psychedelics Provision (Marijuana Moment)

// Rescoring of retail marijuana licenses in Illinois allowed to proceed (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Mexico slowly advances adult-use cannabis law – setting up key vote next week (Marijuana Business Daily)


These headlines are brought to you by All Kind of Portland, Maine, purveyors of fine legal medical marijuana products (and soon adult use!).


// Virginia governor vows to press for adult-use marijuana program (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Rhode Island Will ‘Absolutely’ Consider Legalizing Marijuana In 2021 New House Speaker Says (Marijuana Moment)

// Columbia Care Increases Revenue by 145% Prepares for Strong 2021 (Green Market Report)

// Canadian cannabis firm Pure Sunfarms delivers another profitable quarter (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Vireo Health Raises $5 Million with Pennsylvania Dispensaries Sale (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Wholesale marijuana hemp oil prices fall nationwide amid growing supply of raw material (Marijuana Business Daily)

// America’s longest serving nonviolent cannabis prisoner to be released after 32-year sentence (Independent)


Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Will Mexico Become Biggest Legal Cannabis Market?

Uruguay started it as the first country to go cannabis legal. Canada was the second country to fall. While the US takes its time with infighting between parties and factions, Mexico is ready to sweep in and steal the show, poised to become the biggest legal cannabis market to date.

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It’s true that US states have also gone legal, but a minority of states don’t constitute a legalized country. What is most important about American cannabis legalization, is that America holds the single biggest legal cannabis market with California. This market may very well be eclipsed by the upcoming Mexican legislation that will bring Mexico into the recreational cannabis world.

But how will it really function? And how will it compare to the other legalized countries? Legalizations, after all, are not created equally, and every location has its own set of parameters, and its own structural setup.

A look at Uruguay

Uruguay cannabis

The first thing to know about cannabis reporting is that it’s not very good, anywhere. Numbers vary greatly in nearly every publication, governments don’t seem very excited to release decent information, and writers tend to focus more on long ranging predictions for the market which are so massively variant that it almost feels like they’re not all referring to the same thing. Any specific numbers about cannabis markets, legal or not, should be taken with a grain of salt. Having said that…

Uruguay certainly isn’t the biggest legal cannabis market, and its not in the running right now. Uruguay isn’t terribly concerned with having a massive free market trade when it comes to cannabis. In fact, the Uruguayan system is government run with set places where cannabis can be dispensed, maximum sale limits, and set prices that keep it cost effective. The last time the price was adjusted, it came to $1.23 per gram of flower (which is 53 Uruguayan pesos). About 70% of this amount goes back to producers, while the rest goes mainly to the pharmacy responsible for the point of sale and regulators. As of right now, all of the cannabis sold in pharmacies comes from only two producers – part of the issue for supply problems as these companies have not produced the required amount.

Uruguay had specifically wanted to chip away at the cannabis black market, which is the basis for a system with set (and low) pricing. To anyone not fully paying attention, it means Uruguay sells top quality cannabis, at approximately $4.30 per 1/8th. This greatly breaks the standard price point which globally puts 1/8th of good cannabis at about $50, give or take $10.

Uruguay’s market doesn’t move as quickly as that of Canada or the US states, likely because it doesn’t leave room for huge profits, or corporate manipulation. On the other hand, it’s a much stricter system which makes it harder to actually obtain marijuana. Uruguay has suffered from supply issues since cultivation of marijuana for recreational use is strictly monitored, and only currently allowed by two entities.

Uruguay started its program back in July of 2017, and since its inception up until February of 2020, just under 4,000 kilograms have been sold. This according to the (IRCCA) Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis. More than half of this amount was sold in the capital city of Montevideo. It’s expected that sales would’ve been higher had Uruguay not fallen prey to supply issues.

A look at Canada & the US

Canada was the second country to fully go all-in with cannabis legalization, officially legalizing it in October 2018. Canada has a completely different set-up from Uruguay, offering a free market system where individual businesses can receive licenses to sell cannabis products. Products are priced however manufacturers feel like pricing them, and then duly taxed by the government, either just federally, or locally and federally as well. Based on sales statistics from May of this year, the annual revenue for recreational cannabis in Canada is approximately $1.6 billion. In comparison, Uruguay sold about 4,000 kg over three years, with the last price of $1.23. This makes for approximately $4.9 million. This is obviously a huge difference, and highlights the discrepancy between a free market and a government run system.

Canada cannabis

The US States operate like Canada, offering free markets where cannabis has been legalized, with no set price point (or max price), and the ability for massive government taxes to be added on. In the US, California is the biggest cannabis state, pulling in approximately $3.1 billion in 2019 – though some publications cite this as both medical and recreational together, with very little good information to verify. What does appear true, is that this well surpasses every other legal state (the next was Colorado with $1.6 billion), Canada, and Uruguay, to be the highest grossing single cannabis market.

Does it matter what Mexico does?

These two systems are entirely different in how they operate. One provides a steadier system that can’t be inflated or abused as easily, but comes with drawbacks including supply issues. The other has no real limit in terms of what can be charged or earned, but comes with the drawback of raised price points, and less ability to divert from black markets. So, when looking at Mexico, there are a few things to consider.

I’ve been in Guadalajara for three months now, and while I won’t consider myself an authority on weed here, I’ve certainly learned a bit about how it works. There’s a big different between 1st world and 3rd world countries when it comes to price and quality. Technically the price point for standard ‘good’ weed is about the same, although I have yet to actually buy to the standard that I have in the past. And that’s because it’s not easy to find good pot in Mexico. Most of the Mexicans I’ve encountered don’t even know that the bad smelling, seedy mess they’re smoking is a much lesser form of cannabis in general.

We know from Uruguay that it’s more than possible to provide quality cannabis at an affordable price. Maybe if Uruguay hadn’t legalized first, we might not have known that. I’ve always taken that standard $50 per 1/8th as a general benchmark, and it’s about what I paid in Mexico when I finally found something better than the standard. But Uruguay forces a new question…can the standard price of cannabis be lowered, while still maintaining quality? And if Uruguay can manage it, why is anyone paying anything else??

Mexico’s plans…

It doesn’t look like Mexico is aiming for a government run program. In July of 2020, Mexico released yet more draft legislation from the Secretary of Health regarding its progress in legislation to legalize, which is scheduled to be finalized by December 15th (after several postponements). Mexico technically legalized cannabis judicially when five supreme court rulings were made in favor of legalization. For the past two years, the country has been waiting for its legislative system to catch up, and provide the legal framework made necessary by the court rulings. When court rulings are able to effect legislation in this way, it’s called jurisprudencia.

USA cannabis

Right now, a couple of the issues causing the most concern are how accessible to make cannabis, and whether or not to protect the current 200,000 growers from competition from foreign firms. In a free market, local growers are often made illegitimate by large corporate firms, and that can have devastating effects on local citizens. As of right now, a bill waiting to clear the senate would allow for private companies to sell to the public. One of the points of activist groups is that released draft legislation has easily favored big business over small local growers. Other stipulations not included in previous draft legislation include limits for personal growing, and the need for obtaining a license from the government to smoke.

Implications

Right now, in the US, it’s being summarily discovered that if you raise the price of a good beyond a standard and appreciated price point – especially when said product is still easily available in the black market – you won’t be able to divert as much from said black market. In the US and Canada, people are used to paying more, and a certain percentage are even willing to pay inflated dispensary prices. But plenty aren’t, and that’s not even Mexico.

To give an idea, one USD is worth approximately 21 pesos. If anyone wants to wager a guess on how likely anyone in this economy is to be spending standard dispensary prices, go for it. My guess is, not so much. Which raises the question, will Mexico really be serving up high grade marijuana at prices a Mexican can afford?? After all, it raises prices to have regulation, and taxes, without even getting into company profits. How will these companies provide a better product than what’s already the norm, but without going above what the average person would pay for it? In a government run system this is way less of an issue, in a free market system, which Mexico is aiming for, it can mean totally out-of-whack prices, and the failure of a legal market.

Will Mexico Become Biggest Legal Cannabis Market? Conclusion

It’s hard to have faith in this going well. I can’t imagine the same kind of dispensary setup making it here outside of those already rich enough to buy off the menu services that populate the area. The menu services are chock full of high-quality options, geared mainly toward the Americans in Mexico, and those who pull in enough income to make the high cost worthwhile. I haven’t found a Mexican yet who uses them.

So, we’ll see. As the date comes nearer for the legislation to be turned in, I wait, along with the rest of Mexico, to see what comes next. Hopefully in the next few months, it’ll become a standard in Mexico to smoke better cannabis. Otherwise…it’ll just be business as usual. Regardless of whether actual targets are met, with a population of 128 million, Mexico is likely to become the biggest legal cannabis market once legislation is finally passed.

Thank you for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your all-in-one spot for cannabis-related news. Stop by frequently to stay up-to-date with what’s going on, and sign up to our newsletter so you’re always in the know.

Resources

Synthetic Cannabinoids (Are they synthetic cannabinoids safe?)
Everything You Need To Know About CBD Isolate (a deep look into hemp extracts)

German Cannabis Flower Market is Ready to Explode
Delta-8 THC Contaminated Products, or Just Bad Press?

Government Assistance Options for U.S. Hemp Farmers Affected By COVID-19
Newest Cannabinoid Powerhouse – CBC – What Can It Do for You?
Cannabinoids 101 – Spotlight on CBN (Cannabinol)

Cannabis Cosmetics: What’s Allowed, What’s Not, and Where to Find Them (What is the latest regulations in Europe and which products are allowed)
CBG Study Shows Antimicrobial Properties of Cannabis
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
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The post Will Mexico Become Biggest Legal Cannabis Market? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Mexican Senate will vote on marijuana legalization bill by end of October, majority leader says

The Mexican Senate will likely vote on a bill to legalize marijuana within the next two weeks, the chamber’s majority leader recently said.

Activists have been eagerly awaiting action on the reform legislation since the Supreme Court deemed personal possession and cultivation of cannabis unconstitutional in 2018—though some are pushing for a greater emphasis on social equity before lawmakers pass the pending bill in its current form.

The high court in April granted a second deadline extension to give legislators additional time to enact the policy change amid the coronavirus pandemic, pushing it to December 15. That said, Ricardo Monreal, the ruling MORENA party’s leader in the Senate, said the chamber will advance the bill before the end of October.

It’s not clear if the legislation will go through the committee process or straight to the floor given that tight timeline. Zara Snapp, a legalization activist with the Instituto RIA and the coalition #RegulacionPorLaPaz, told Marijuana Moment that advocates have similarly heard from senators that the plan is to quickly pass the proposal and they’re “hopeful” that’s the case.

If the Senate passes the legal cannabis bill it will still have to go before the other house of the nation’s Congress, the Chamber of Deputies.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in August that marijuana reform legislation will advance in the new session. The bill was approved by several committees earlier this year, but the COVID-19 outbreak derailed negotiations.

The civil rights group México Unido outlined its concerns about the current proposal in a Twitter thread on Tuesday, contending that as drafted it would allow select companies to monopolize the industry.

They said that amending the measure should be “a matter of distributing the benefits of the market among those who have been most affected” by cannabis criminalization, according to a translation.

The legalization bill that’s set to advance this coming session was revised during a joint meeting of the Justice, Health, Legislative Studies and Public Safety Committees in March.

The proposal would allow adults 18 and older to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. Individuals could grow up to 20 registered plants as long as the total yield doesn’t exceed 480 grams per year. Medical patients could apply to cultivate more than 20 plants, however.

Legal personal possession would be capped at 28 grams, but possession of up to 200 grams would be decriminalized.

The Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis, a decentralized body established under the measure, would be established and responsible for regulating the market and issuing licenses for marijuana businesses.

The bill proposes a 12 percent tax on cannabis sales, with some revenue going toward a substance misuse treatment fund.

Public consumption would be permissible, except in spaces designated as 100 percent smoke-free. Hemp and CBD would be exempt from regulations that apply to THC products.

An earlier version of the legislation was approved by Senate committees last year ahead of the court’s previous October 2019 deadline.

Sen. Julio Ramón Menchaca Salazar, also of the MORENA party, said in April that while legislators must still resolve certain disagreements about the legislation, legalizing cannabis could fill treasury coffers at a time when the economy is recovering from the pandemic.

As lawmakers work to advance the reform legislation, there’s been a more lighthearted push to focus attention on the issue by certain members and activists. That push has mostly involved planting and gifting marijuana.

Last month, a top administration official was gifted a cannabis plant by senator on the Senate floor, and she said she’d be making it a part of her personal garden.

A different lawmaker gave the same official, Interior Ministry Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero, a marijuana joint on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies last year.

Cannabis made another appearance in the legislature in August, when Sen. Jesusa Rodríguez of the MORENA party decorated her desk with a marijuana plant.

Drug policy reform advocates have also been cultivating hundreds of marijuana plants in front of the Senate, putting pressure on legislators to make good on their pledge to advance legalization.


This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content-sharing agreement. Read the original article here.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post Mexican Senate will vote on marijuana legalization bill by end of October, majority leader says appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Mexican cabinet member accepts gifted marijuana plant as lawmakers prepare legalization vote

Marijuana is becoming something of a staple in the Mexican Congress, and not just when it comes to reform bills being considered. Actual cannabis products are regularly being exchanged, displayed and planted in and around legislative chambers as lawmakers work to legalize the plant.

On Wednesday, a top administration official was gifted a marijuana plant by senator, and she said she’d be making it a part of her personal garden.

Interior Ministry Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero said that by the time she plants the cannabis gift from Sen. Emilio Álvarez Icaza, she’ll be “fervently hoping that the law [to legalize cannabis] is already passed,” referring to reform legislation that the legislature has been working on the past couple years.

“The medicinal use of marijuana has been a revelation for the world, and second because hemp is industrially interesting from clothes, energy, paper, construction materials, stronger than any other construction material,” she said, according to a translation. “In other words, there is enormous potential with hemp and also the recreational use of marijuana, respecting the principle of the autonomy of the will and the free development of the person.”

Last year, a different lawmaker gave the Sánchez Cordero a marijuana joint on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies.

“I bring you a gift as a reminder of that proposal you made at the beginning, because that goes to be the way to help us build peace. Let’s regulate the use of drugs,” Deputy Ana Lucía Riojas Martínez said at the time.

Cannabis made another appearance in the legislature last month, when Sen. Jesusa Rodríguez of the ruling Morena party decorated her desk with a marijuana plant.

Drug policy reform advocates have also been cultivating hundreds of marijuana plants in front of the Senate, putting pressure on legislators to make good on their pledge to advance legalization.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently said that marijuana reform legislation will advance in the new session.

A legalization bill was approved by several committees earlier this year, but the reform effort has been stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The nation’s Supreme Court—which deemed the country’s prohibition on personal possession and cultivation unconstitutional in 2018—is currently giving lawmakers until December 15 to enact the policy change.

The legalization bill that’s set to advance this coming session was revised during a joint meeting of the Justice, Health, Legislative Studies and Public Safety Committees in March.

The proposal would allow adults 18 and older to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. Individuals could grow up to 20 registered plants as long as the total yield doesn’t exceed 480 grams per year. Medical patients could apply to cultivate more than 20 plants, however.

Personal possession would be capped at 28 grams, but possession of up to 200 grams would be decriminalized.

The Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis, a decentralized body established under the measure, would be established and responsible for regulating the market and issuing licenses for marijuana businesses.

The bill proposes a 12 percent tax on cannabis sales, with some revenue going toward a substance misuse treatment fund.

Public consumption would be permissible, except in spaces designated as 100 percent smoke-free. Hemp and CBD would be exempt from regulations that apply to THC products.

An earlier version of the legislation was approved by Senate committees last year ahead of the court’s previous October deadline.

Sen. Julio Ramón Menchaca Salazar, also of the Morena party, said in April that while legislators must still resolve certain disagreements about the legislation, legalizing cannabis could fill treasury coffers at a time when the economy is recovering from the pandemic.

While advocates are eager to enact reform, they’ve also raised several concerns with the legislation as drafted, particularly as it relates to restorative justice.

Zara Snapp, a legalization activist with the Instituto RIA and the coalition #RegulacionPorLaPaz, told Marijuana Moment on Friday that while it’s “concerning” that committees haven’t yet scheduled time to take the legalization bill back up, she’s had conversations with senators from all political parties and “they all tell me this will happen this legislative session.”

“We’re going to take them at their word that they will be approving this in the next two to three months,” she said.

This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content-sharing agreement. Read the original article here.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post Mexican cabinet member accepts gifted marijuana plant as lawmakers prepare legalization vote appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

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