Cannabis, the millionaire business that aims to become the pitch-century Colombia opens the debate on the consumption of recreational marijuana
Mexico will have to wait to become the third country in the world to legalize marijuana, after Canada and Uruguay. The Senate has postponed this week the regulation of the commerce and consumption of the drug despite the fact that the Supreme Court has given the Legislature a deadline that expires this month for reforming five articles of the General Health Law that were declared unconstitutional. The intention was to exploit the order of the Court to create a legal framework that will promote economic development and put the country on path to end the wave of violence unleashed by the war against narco-trafficking.
The legislators have agreed. With the time above, civil society organizations have seen a historic moment to become a legislative process poor that threatens to yield to the great economic interests of a business that has been valued at billions of dollars. “Mexico has tried all and has paid the highest costs in the world under the scheme of the ban” says Zara Snapp, co-founder of the Institute of RIA.
The most serious consequence for some sectors is that it falls in a simulation, which is sold as a legalization, but that does not change the most urgent of change. Another concern is that the lobby groups of the transnational push for a law to its extent. “The truth is that there are many interests; it is amazing the number of lobbyists who are here,” she said Thursday Ricardo Monreal, the leader of the bench of Brown, the party of the Government. The legislator has pointed out this Tuesday that the ruling made by the Health Commission shall not be subject to a vote of the full face of the lack of consensus for its approval.
In the last five years there have been around 70 different initiatives and only in this legislature, that started in September of last year, have emerged in the 10 projects in the Senate and three in the Chamber of Deputies. One is driven by Mario Delgado, the leader of Brown in the lower House. Another was written by Olga Sánchez Cordero, in his short tenure as a senator prior to assuming the ministry of the Interior (Ministry of Interior). The most advanced was endorsed by Julio Menchaca, chair of the Justice committee, and also senator Brown. “The marijuana we don’t have consensus,” said Monreal. The disagreements on the issues related to the planting, production, distribution, possession and marketing of the herb thwarted the agreement between the thwarts.
despite the fact that the Court gave him a year to make the necessary reforms, the Senate began working to forced marches to the beginning of October. “It was desaseado and lost a lot of time,” criticizes Lisa Sanchez, director of Mexico United against Delinquency. The commissions of Health, Justice and Legislative research (the Second) worked in permanent sessions and selected 10 projects of law to reach a predictamen, that should be discussed by all senators. It has not been clear why they chose those initiatives, some presented in other legislatures, nor what points of each were used to develop the document, published last October 17, accuses Sanchez.
The proposed law, 74 articles, provides for strict rules for the labelling and packaging produced with biodegradable materials. It does not define a lawful process of obtaining local seeds and obliges them to give a timely follow-up from that are the seed until the grass reaches the hands of the consumer, as well as to make laboratory tests prior to marketing the product. The organizations claim that they generate an “effect Monsanto” because the requirements are virtually impossible for small producers and favour large foreign capital inflows. The law establishes at the same time locks that secure a limit of 20% in the share capital of foreign companies, a negative point for the transnational’s foreign cannabis concerned in Mexico.
it was Also necessary to reform the Penal Code to stop investing State resources to prosecute and imprison farmers and consumers, guidelines that are not clear in the wording of the proposal. The point to legalize it just decriminalize it, say the specialists. Other restrictions border on the absurd, such as the prohibition of consumption for pregnant women and breastfeeding, which do not exist for other products harmful to health and that the State can hardly monitor. “Requirements are arbitrary which have not been established in any other place in the world”, points out Sánchez. All the regulatory aspects could be taken by the National Institute of Cannabis, a decentralized body of the Secretariat of the Interior.
large companies, especially canadian, have not hidden their interest in Mexico by the size of the market and by the low costs of production. In July 2018, the former president, Vicente Fox, became a member of the board of the canadian Khiron Life Sciences, that aims to be “a leader in the market of cannabis Latin american”. Aurora Cannabis, another Canadian company, announced in December last year the purchase of Pharmacies for Lectures, the first firm that obtained the permission to import raw materials with tetrahidrocannabidol (THC) to Mexico.
“Mexico is ready to be the largest country in the world with a market of cannabis for medical and recreational. This certainly will bring an opportunity in the short term and the future,” he told The Sun of Mexico Antonio Droghetti, director of Canopy Latam, the Latin american sister to the canadian Canopy Growth, which he received in 2018 with an investment of 4,000 million dollars of Constellation Brands, the company that sells Corona beer in the united STATES. In the middle of this year made public the creation of the Promoter Group of the Cannabis Industry —which brings together more than 25 companies, institutes and private investors, which has been in contact with the senators and has participated in forums to promote the interests of the industry.
“The idea is not to reject the money for the fact that they are investments from abroad,” explains Snapp. “We don’t want to be another industry that use cheap labor and mexican lands, and takes the profits and benefits out,” adds the political scientist. For Snapp, the success of a new law should be measured from how many people and resources that are part of the illegal market are in transit to the legal market.
After the new legislative hurdle, the Supreme Court must issue a general declaration of unconstitutionality. The matter will take turns to one of the ten ministers, who shall develop a draft law just on the articles that were declared unconstitutional. There is a definite time-frame for this. This project must be finally approved by a majority of eight ministers. And yet the legalization integral of marijuana in Mexico is still in the air.