After the Mexican Congress failed to meet the deadline and various extensions provided by the Supreme Court to enact a new law regulating the recreational use of cannabis, on June 28, 2021, the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled, with effects General, that the General Health Law’s blanket prohibition on the recreational use of cannabis and THC was unconstitutional.

With a majority of eight votes, out of eleven possible, the Supreme Court decided to invalidate certain provisions of the general law on health which authorized exclusively the authorization of the personal use of cannabis “for medical and scientific purposes”. Thanks to this invalidation, the Ministry of Health, through the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS, according to its name in Spanish), will now be required to authorize requests related to recreational use. cannabis and THC, including seeding, growing, harvesting, preparing, possessing and transporting for personal use.

The decision also stipulates that COFEPRIS must issue the necessary directives for the acquisition of the semen, it being understood that the authorization for personal use does not include the right to import, sell or distribute. It was also ordered that the COFEPRIS authorization be granted exclusively to adults for personal use of cannabis and THC, and not to other substances, that the recreational use does not occur in front of children, in public places where others have not given their consent, or while performing activities that may endanger other people, such as driving or operating dangerous machinery.

The Supreme Court again urged the Mexican Congress to move forward with the adoption of a law aimed at providing legal certainty to users and third parties, and to create the conditions necessary to exercise this right responsibly.

While the Supreme Court’s resolution is an important step in the right direction, uncertainty will persist among users and the industry in general whether the regulations necessary for personal recreational use, and for other uses of cannabis ( industrial, cosmetic, nutritional, etc.) are not quickly in place. It is not yet clear, for example, where, how or from whom someone can legally purchase cannabis or seeds for recreational purposes, while related criminal penalties for activities such as cultivation, possession , the sale and transport of cannabis without proper authorization remains in place. There is therefore an urgent need for the Mexican Congress to properly regulate the industry in order to provide this certainty.

In November 2020, the Mexican Senate approved the Federal Law for the Regulation of Cannabis (the “Cannabis Law”) and sent it to the House of Representatives for discussion and approval. The latter having made significant changes, it was sent to the Senate for final approval, where it remains in limbo. Readers should, however, keep in mind that the medical and therapeutic use of cannabis has recently been authorized in Mexico and that COFEPRIS has already issued regulations regarding these activities. For more information, Click here.

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