Mexican Senate approves cannabis legalization bill, ending monthslong delay
Published 53 mins ago | By Alfredo Pascual
Mexico's Senate chamber in advance of a vote to legalize adult-use cannabis. The marijuana-decorated clocks declare, in Spanish, "It’s time to regulate." (Photo courtesy of Senadores Ciudadanos)
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The Mexican Senate on Thursday approved a comprehensive adult-use marijuana legalization bill, but the pending law still faces some hurdles before doors are fully open to business opportunities in Latin America’s second-largest consumer market.
The bill was brought to a vote on the Senate floor, where it was debated and approved in general terms with 82 votes in favor, seven abstentions and 18 against.
Senators are now voting on specific articles.
Mexico will be the third country to legalize adult-use cannabis, following Canada in 2018 and Uruguay in 2013. Mexico’s next steps include:
Approval by the lower legislative chamber. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signing the bill into law, assuming he has no objections. The country was ordered by the Supreme Court to approve a law by mid-December.
Anyone expecting revenue opportunities in the near term should not get their hopes up.
After the law is approved, and before any sales can take place, a cannabis agency must be established and secondary rules written.