The Path Towards A Legal Cannabis Industry In Mexico

Following significant regulatory trends in other countries such as neighbors the United States and Canada, Mexico began taking steps toward allowing use of cannabis. The legislative process to amend certain provisions of the General Health Law (Ley General de Salud, or “LGS”) resulted in the June 19, 2017 publication of amendments1 acknowledging the therapeutic benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), opening the door to the research and academic study of medicinal cannabis and, subject to a permit by the Federal Commission for the Protection of Sanitary Risks (“COFEPRIS”), allowing the importation of medications containing THC. At that time, cannabis products without a sanitary license, self-production, harvest and possession of cannabis was still prohibited.

More recently, on October 30, 2018, COFEPRIS issued the Guidelines for the Sanitary Control of Cannabis and its Derivatives (Lineamientos en Materia de Control Sanitario de la Cannabis y Derivados de la Misma2). Such guidelines set forth the agency’s criteria to be used in the evaluation and resolution of the applications filed to authorize medical and scientific use of cannabis and its pharmacological derivatives, as well as the commercialization, exportation and importation of cannabis products with 1% or less THC content for industrial use.