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Everything you need to know about medical cannabis in Mexico

Mexico has a long and complicated history when it comes to cannabis.



Mexico has a long and complicated history when it comes to cannabis.

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Mexico has a long and complicated history when it comes to cannabis. The experts at break down everything you need to know.

The cannabis plant has a long history of medical use, as it was included in the US pharmacopeia in 1850 for its sedative and anticonvulsant effects. Technically speaking, its history is complicated, as the British Government removed it from pharmacopeia in 1941. 

Most recently, the medical use of cannabis for treating deliberating chronic pain conditions has come back under the spotlight. As of today, several countries and 29 US states legally allow the medical use of cannabis. 

In June 2017, Mexico legalised medical cannabis.

The legal panorama in Mexico

Mexico has had a long and complicated relationship with cannabis throughout its history. Marijuana has been grown in Mexico since the 16th century when hemp was famous for rope and textiles. But the production of cannabis for recreational use was banned in 1920. 

At the end of 2015, an NGO filed a request to the COFEPRIS – Mexican commission of Health Risk to legalise medical cannabis. The COFEPRIS denied the authorisation, but the Supreme court ordered the COFEPRIS to issue the corresponding license for only non-commercial use.

Similarly, at the end of 2015, a district court ordered COFEPRIS to authorise the import and personal use of the drug for epileptic patients. 

Recently, in February 2016, COFEPRIS authorised the import of drugs produced by the Californian company Medical Marijauan Inc. for young epileptic sufferers.

Following a heated debate, the Mexican Senate and Lower House Congress approved a bill legalising the use of medical cannabis. As a consequence of that debate, on June 9, 2017, the Mexican president issued a decree legalising the therapeutic use of cannabis.

Medical cannabis regulations in Mexico

On January 12, 2021, Mexico’s Ministry of Health published rules regulating the use of medical cannabis. The Mexican government issued the first major cannabis reform measures on their three-year-old medical marijuana program. 

The primary focus of these regulations is on cannabis cultivation for both research and pharmacological products.

Moreover, legalisation allows private and public research with quality control measures and good manufacturing practices.

Doctors who want to practice cannabis will need to register with another agency – COFEPRIS. Medical cannabis will be available in pharmacies. 

Mexico offers an open door for medical cannabis tourism, both Mexican citizens and foreigners can travel with medical cannabis products in the country. 

Mexico medical marijuana programme

With the legalisation of medical cannabis, the marijuana and hemp companies keen to participate in emerging medical cannabis programmes. The new regulatory structure for medical marijuana in the company making it possible for companies to apply for research licenses. 

On 10 March, 2021, the Mexico Chamber of Disputes legalised the production of cannabis for industrial, medical, and recreational purposes.

The Mexican Senate will approve these modifications. In other countries, cannabis was legalised via the ballot, while in Mexico, it was mandated by the Supreme Court in 2018.

The Supreme Court found that criminalisation violates the constitutional right of Mexicans.  

Once the law passes, Mexico will be the third country to legalise all aspects of cannabis after Uruguay and Canada. 

The implementation of laws will deliver the purported and hoped outcomes:

  • Advancement of civil liberties
  • Reduction in prison populations
  • Reduction in law enforcement abuses
  • Economic generation of economic revenue for the government
  • Improvement in social conditions of poor, marginalised populations
  • Decrease in violent criminality

Under the New Marijuana Law, adults over 18 will be able to purchase and possess less than 28g of cannabis.

However, possession of up to 200g is subject to a fine of $500, while possession of more than 200g can land you in six months prison.

In addition, adults cultivating more than eight cannabis plants can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

Opportunities for the growing section

According to many sources, the decree opens the door to external investments as many companies in the medical cannabis business may consider the opportunity to expand to Mexico.

Stuart Titus, Medical Marijuana’s chief executive, said Mexico represents a $1 billion to $2 billion opportunity of revenues in the next ten years.

A green wave – Mexico’s marijuana market may be middling

Lawmakers in Mexico are on the verge of legalising marijuana due to its monetary benefits. People in the business world are predicting a Mexican green boom – a new legal and thriving industry offering thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in profits, and the government’s tax revenue.

The cannabis industry promoters are enthusiastic about the prospect, as it will generate income in terms of employment, local economy, and taxation. 

With more than 120 million people, Mexico will represent a substantial marijuana industry. It will be an excellent, economical, natural, ethical, and moral solution for the country. 

The Cannabis Expo, Mexico

The Cannabis Expo Mexico is the largest comprehensive cannabis convention and exhibition to take place in the LATAM region, with global industry leaders and local government representatives taking part in moderated panel discussions and presenting talks on a wide range of cannabis-related topics.

Delegates and VIPs have access to the exhibition hall featuring the full spectrum of local and international cannabis businesses, as well as dedicated Networking Areas and the Conference Auditorium hosting presentations and panel discussions throughout the event.

The event will be held in Mexico City, at Expo Santa Fe, from 24 – 25  June.

You can also access a Virtual Pass to attend from anywhere in the world. Get your tickets here.



Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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