At the end of June, the judges of Mexico's Supreme Court voted by eight to three in favor of declaring the prohibition of adult-use cannabis unconstitutional. Consumption in public places and in the presence of children remains prohibited. The ruling requires Mexico's public health authority, COFEPRIS, to issue licenses for the cultivation, possession, or consumption of cannabis. .
This is not the first time that the Supreme Court has ruled on cannabis: Back in 2019, the Court ruled that the ban on cannabis was unconstitutional. At the time, the Court had given the Mexican legislature two years to amend laws and regulations in this area. The period given to it expired on 30 April 2021; however, the Mexican Congress and Senate could not agree on a new law before this date. As a result, the Supreme Court decided on 28 June to apply a so-called "General Declaration of Unconstitutionality" to the articles of law restricting the recreational use of cannabis. This effectively leaves Mexico in a legal vacuum, with no laws or regulations governing the recreational use of cannabis.
Whether this means that the Mexican authorities will soon introduce laws or regulations remains to be seen. For example, Mexican President Lopez Obrador, who is reportedly not a supporter of cannabis legalisation, hinted the day after the Court's decision that it might become the subject of a referendum. He also indicated that opinions on this subject differed in his Cabinet. Legal certainty on this controversial subject thus still seems a long way off.
European and North American cannabis growers are closely following the developments in Mexico. If Mexico were to legalise cannabis, this would create the largest legal market for cannabis. According to the newspaper El Heraldo de Mexico, 165 companies have already registered brand names for cannabis-related products with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI).