Former Mexican President Vicente Fox would like to legitimatize cannabis across international boarders in an attempt to boost the economies of Canada, Mexico and the United Sates. He wants to incorporate cannabis into the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and provide weed producers with the same economic possibilities as those connected to any other form of produce. Although Fox’s plan is on the right track in the grand scheme of how the three countries are presently doing business together, some cannabis growers, especially those connected to smaller farming operations, are not exactly champing at the bit for this idea come to fruition.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Fox, who sits on the board of the Vancouver-based cannabis firm Khiron Life Sciences Corp, said changes are coming with respect to cannabis at the international level. He told the news source that in addition to Mexico’s move to legalize a medical marijuana program in 2017, he believes the current government will make strides to legalize for recreational use later next year. If this happens, Fox believes that giving the cartels the right to distribute cannabis legally through a NAFTA deal could be a solid step in curbing violent, illicit affairs.
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“We can change criminals for businessmen, we can change underground, illegal non-taxpayers into an industry, a sector of the economy,” he said last Thursday in Toronto.
“I think it should be part of NAFTA and that’s what I’m pursuing,” he added.
By making marijuana a part of international trade, Mexico would once again become a major exporter of cannabis. Prior to cannabis going legal in some parts of the United States, Mexican drug cartels were responsible for a large majority of the country’s cannabis distribution.
If Mexico would happen to go fully legal in 2019, and cannabis was miraculously affixed to NAFTA under the Trump Administration, some of those same blood-thirsty cartel operations that have dominated the black market dope trade for decades could supply the U.S. and Canada with legal weed. After all, labor is cheap south of the border.
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“On vegetables, on fruits, on avocados, Mexico produces and provides up to 70 percent of the U.S. and Canadian market so we are efficient in producing, we’re efficient in farming and we’re low-cost and competitive,” Fox said during his interview.
However, making legal weed a part of NAFA is not something that is technically possible while the United States government maintains a prohibitionary standard. Marijuana must first be made legal at the national level, and Congress is nowhere even close passing a bill. In fact, there is a White House committee presently trying to roll back the public opinion on weed.
But even if it were possible, cannabis producers argue that a NAFTA deal would be yet another detriment to the American farmer.
“Cannabis is one crop that small farms have relied on for income, Jaime Warm, CEO of the California-based cannabis firm Henry’s Originals, told the Huffington Post.
Other U.S. cannabis producers, like Lex Corwin, the founder of Stone Road Farms, say that pot businesses are already combating excessive regulations, so adding “foreign-grown, low-cost marijuana to the equation…would be a death sentence for many American marijuana businesses and the tens of thousands of well-paying jobs this industry provides.”
But cannabis investors are not worried about the small American farmer. In fact, many believe adding cannabis to NAFTA would be a good move. Yet, even Fox understands that this is not something that is going to happen anytime soon, but there is definitely some potential for a deal to be made in the future. The United States government has been trying to kill off the American farmer for the past several decades. Why stop now?