Colombia is already an existing competitor and has many competitive advantages for cannabis production, such as climate and sunshine, making production costs low. After Colombia legalized medical cannabis, whose cultivation and processing requires much stricter cultivation and processing standards than recreational marijuana, 29 Colombian companies invested about $600 million to build production facilities. However, transportation costs in Colombia are often very high, as cannabis extracts often have to be airlifted out of growing areas to export transportation hubs. Technically, medical marijuana is legal and adult or recreational use is not. But it`s a bit more complicated than that. Mexico legalized medical cannabis in June 2017 with a measure that only allowed the use of imported cannabis derivatives with low THC content. There has been a lot of legal back-and-forth, but the country looks set to finally deliver on the promise of medical legalization with a more modern approach in 2021. In June 2021, the country`s highest court struck down laws banning private and home cultivation of cannabis for recreational purposes on human rights grounds, marking the culmination of a series of decisions that have encouraged small and medium-sized producers. In August 2009, possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana was decriminalized. Between 2015 and 2018, the Supreme Court issued a series of decisions relaxing restrictions on recreational marijuana use.
The Court found that the prohibition of marijuana for medical purposes violated the constitutional right to health. Mexico has had a long and complicated relationship with cannabis throughout its history. Marijuana has been cultivated in Mexico since the 16th century, when hemp was popular for ropes and textiles. In 1920, the production of cannabis for recreational purposes was banned and in 1927, its export was also banned. Soon after, marijuana was criminalized across the country. Mexico`s cannabis laws and policies reflected in many ways the anti-marijuana movement that was developing in the United States at the same time. Cannabis in Mexico became legal for private recreational use in June 2021 upon application and granting of a permit from the COFEPRIS (Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios) Secretariat of Health.  Proposals to fully legalize recreational marijuana are awaiting reintroduction in the Mexican Senate. The country`s lawmakers have been under pressure to pass a full legalization law since 2015, when Mexico`s Supreme Court began issuing a series of rulings declaring cannabis prohibition unconstitutional. Mexican lawmakers have passed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis, but in a country still plagued by a deadly war on drugs, the proposal has proven divisive. Former president and marijuana entrepreneur Vicente Fox has called on lawmakers and authorities to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis use, saying it would reduce cartel revenues and create economic opportunities for ordinary Mexicans. On October 31, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that the law banning the recreational use of cannabis in Mexico was unconstitutional.
As this was the fifth time the Court had ruled in this way, it set a binding precedent for the entire judicial system of the country. The effect of the decision was that the law prohibiting cannabis remained in force, but it no longer had to be enforced, as anyone could cite the verdict and demand that their charges be dropped. The decision ordered the Mexican government to officially legalize cannabis within the next 90 days.     On April 17, 2020, the Supreme Court extended the deadline to December 15, 2020.  In October 2018, the Supreme Court extended its decision to recreational marijuana, holding that the prohibition on cannabis use violated the constitutional right to freedom of personal expression. The latest decision was the court`s fifth on the subject, making it binding on all courts in the country. After ignoring or extending several deadlines, the Mexican government appears poised to begin legalizing medical and recreational marijuana in 2021. On March 10, 2021, Mexico`s lower house of Congress passed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis by a vote of 316 to 219.
The bill was supposed to be passed by the Senate before being sent to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has signaled support for legalization, but the bill was not finalized until the end of the legislature and the legislature did not request an extension. Some lawmakers have floated the idea of an extraordinary session after the June 2021 elections.  On June 10, 2021, the Supreme Court added the “declaration of unconstitutionality” to its list for a vote on June 28.  The 80-year-old former president called on authorities to impose regulations on the production, processing, and recreational use of marijuana, which was effectively decriminalized by the SCJN and is openly smoked in some parts of the country, including Mexico City and Oaxaca. In 1882, cannabis was banned in Mexico City`s military hospital to prevent violence and unrest.  Stories of users committing violent crimes have been widely circulated by newspapers in Mexico and in U.S. border towns.  In 1920, Mexico banned the production, sale and recreational use of cannabis.  In 1927, Mexico banned the export of cannabis.  On March 10, 2021, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, which is expected to be submitted to the Senate by April 30, 2021. If the law had been approved, it would have been submitted to the President of Mexico for promulgation.  In addition, Mexico could face many competitors, at least in the export market for medical cannabis and industrial hemp, both of which bring Mexico far more potential profits than the recreational market.
Mexican lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday night to legalize recreational marijuana, a milestone for the country that is in a war on drugs and could become the world`s largest cannabis market, leaving the U.S. between two neighbors selling marijuana. The 316-129 vote in Mexico`s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, came more than two years after Mexico`s Supreme Court ruled that the ban on recreational marijuana was unconstitutional and more than three years after the country legalized medical cannabis. If the amendments to the law are approved by the Mexican Senate and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signs the bill, Mexico will become the third country in the world, after Uruguay and Canada, to fully legalize all aspects of cannabis use and production nationwide. Felbab-Brown also compares Mexico`s efforts to legalize cannabis with those of Lebanon, Colombia and Canada. This article was originally published by Mexico Today de La Reforma. Adult-use cannabis has not been fully legalized in Mexico, but possession of 5 grams or less of recreational marijuana was decriminalized in 2009. In late 2020, the Mexican Senate approved legalization, which allows production, retailing, and home cultivation. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reportedly said it was simply a matter of sorting out the details of legalizing medical and adult marijuana in early 2021. Mexico`s Supreme Court on Monday night struck down laws criminalizing the recreational use of cannabis. Some scientists also believe that indigenous Mexicans adopted psychoactive cannabis as the drug Pipiltzintzintli for ritual and divinatory purposes.  In 1898, cannabis use was widespread in Mexico. The drug was widely used recreationally and as a folk remedy to treat pain – especially among military personnel and the lower classes.  In 2008, only about 7% of Mexican citizens were in favor of legalizing cannabis. That number has risen to about 33 percent in recent years in favor of legalizing recreational use.  This is because Mexico`s war on drugs has claimed thousands of lives and destroyed families.