Mexico, a country that has been associated with the illegal drug trade for decades, is on a path to treating certain marijuana derivatives as a health supplement. According to a recent article from Forbes, now that the nation, sometimes referred to as “South of Freedom,” has legalized the cultivation and sale of medicinal cannabis containing no more than 1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), products rich is cannabidiol (CBD) are could soon be treated in a manner similar to vitamins and minerals.
It was just last year that President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a piece of legislation legalizing the production and use of low-THC medical marijuana products. The new law, according to Raul Elizalde, President of HempMeds Latin America, will allow cannabis producers to incorporate CBD in a variety of health products. It could also allow patients to gain access to higher strength cannabis through the healthcare system.
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“A good point about this regulation in Mexico is that any product with a THC concentration higher than 1 percent can still be registered with the government, and sold as a prescription,” Elizalde said. “But the best part is that [cannabinoids] with below 1 percent THC content can be in medicine, supplements, lotions, food, anything. This is very, very good for our country, and I think we’re one of the very first in the world to take that path.”
Although there is potential for great innovation in the world of therapeutic cannabis south of the border, it presently remains difficult to for patients to gain access to CBD and other cannabis products, the report claims. As it stands, Medical Marijuana, Inc is the only source for cannabis products. But a physician must prescribe them. There are not available over the counter.
HempMeds, which is a subsidiary of the company, was created two years ago to begin pressuring lawmakers to pass “broader medical marijuana regulations in the country.”
In the meantime, some Mexican residents are simply crossing over into California to reap the benefits of the state’s new recreational marijuana market. It is there that adults 21 and older can bypass all of the red tape associated with gaining access to pot products in their country by simply flashing a little cash in a retail dispensary. It is a system that Elizalde thinks Mexico may need to get onboard with in the not so distant future.
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“In a country where we have suffered so much from drug violence, we know that drug policy is wrong,” he said. “Last year, our president said that drug policy has failed. I think we need to do something different, and maybe that difference is to make marijuana recreational, make it legal, so that states could regulate it, and promote regulation over prohibition.”
President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a man that U.S. President Donald Trump has nicknamed “Juan Trump,” reportedly has a plan to change the country’s drug laws. He plans to take a “transitional justice” approach to non-violent drug offenders, reducing jail time and putting more emphasis on rehabilitation. He is set to take office in December.