LATAM: An update on cannabis in the region
Today’s article will be an update on the cannabis market in Latin America, and during the last couple of months there have been a few developments. One interesting point to note before getting into any details is that with an industry such as this, legislation and attitude are difficult entities to change. This is to say that the lag-time between a government meeting or a protest by members of activist groups campaigning for changes to be made to the legal status of cannabis and subsequent tangible change is not instant. This means a great deal of patience is needed when keeping an eye on updates, however, it is not all moving at a snail’s pace, and as more countries are immersing themselves in the possibilities of relaxed legislation and the benefits that come with this, the market expansion leads to new opportunities, and more importantly, new updates for us to share with you!
One of the world’s most advanced legal cannabis markets is in the process of taking another step to solidify its status as a pioneer for the movement to modernised legislation. The latest advancements come in the form of permitting the sale and consumption of edible cannabis. Now, you may be wondering what this means, and in short, it is inclusive of products made from non-psychoactive cannabis elements, such as hemp foods. This is an exciting prospect as it opens another dimension of the sector and allowing Uruguay to represent the region on the global stage as forward thinking and as having a focus on monopolising the market for the coming years.
One Latin American nation that has not been at the forefront of regional and international headlines is Peru. One of the stricter nations in which there is only an 8-10% figure in favour of legalisation of cannabis, it would appear as though any kind of market domination in the near future is off the cards. However, we have touched on attitudes being difficult to shift, and with time, as we have seen in other nations across the globe, new advances in medicine and science allow for old stereotypes to be replaced with optimism. It could be said that this is starting to take place in Peru, where by April of this year, 39 cannabis licenses had been granted allowing companies to sell CBD products from overseas. This development means there is a larger accessible market and by implication, opportunity for higher demand and perhaps further relaxed legislation in the future.
We have spoken before about Mexico as having the potential for rapid market expansion in the near future, and recently, there has been development that could legalise recreational cannabis before there are any official rules and legislation written into Mexican law. This creates an interesting environment as the law in each state could end up being vastly different, and because there has not been any official standardised regulation passed as of now it is hard for businesses to plot their route to the Mexican industry. This is a rather interesting piece of news to emerge as it is not as optimistic as the other two despite progress being made. However, what it does do is serve as a reality check that the lack of unanimous agreement regarding cannabis and its uses in a domestic market is ever-present across the globe, and something governments and populations across Latin America will have to combat in the coming years.