Less than a week after that The New York Times Mexico has been preparing to create a massive, legal cannabis market – perhaps the largest in the world. But will the US follow suit?
Politico reported that the move has the potential to pressure President Joe Biden to end the federal ban as well. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party supports the proposal and is expected to sign the bill. In this case, the US is positioned between two of the largest legal cannabis markets.
Mexico has a massive population of nearly 130 million people. Once this is legal, the Central American nation will be the largest country legalizing cannabis on a national level.
The population in Mexico Dwarfs other countries that have already implemented legalization. Canada has a population of 37.6 million and Uruguay has a population of 3.4 million, which together still make up less than a third of the Mexican population.
With legal cannabis markets booming right in the north and south of the US, the federal government could feel renewed pressure to legalize it.
“I suspect this will eventually fuel the urge to decriminalize or legalize,” said Andrew Rudman, director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center. He also highlighted that most of the members of the US House of Representatives are now representatives from states that have already legalized. “I think Mexico is probably giving more impetus to something that could have happened anyway.”
Since Mexico announced its plans to legalize cannabis, U.S. companies have been focusing more and more on the potential of this vast market.
“It is a great opportunity for international companies from Canada and the United States to invest in Mexico,” said Rail Elizalde, CEO of HempMeds Kxan. “I think it would be a mistake not to do it.”
As many companies prepare to invest in the Mexican cannabis industry, legalization south of the border could tempt the US into passing laws establishing their federally regulated sector.
While Mexico has plans to open its legal cannabis industry, it will be some time before Mexican pharmacies get the green light. With the potential of a nationwide legal US cannabis market to be realized, President Biden could feel obliged to take steps to ensure that the 331 million US population has access to legal cannabis – without crossing borders.