Mexico: Cannabis industry is expanding
It is estimated that by 2027, the value of the legal cannabis market will reach around US$73.6 billion, which is to say that globally, the industry is only going to expand. One of the driving forces for expansion like this is legislation across the world being changed to permit the buying and selling of cannabis products. Within the Latin American market, in 2013 Uruguay proved itself to be the pioneer of such movements by legalising cannabis in recreational and medicinal forms, demonstrating a shift towards more liberal attitudes to the drug as well as the evident increasing opportunities in the market. However, Uruguay is not the only country to see the gap in the market, Mexico is being put in the spotlight this year because of potential reforms that may be taking place to legalise cannabis in some forms.
Medical cannabis has been seen to have many positive impacts on the lives of people with certain illnesses, such as pain relief from multiple sclerosis. With regards to the medical cannabis industry, Mexico has set rules in place which means that companies wishing to sell medical cannabis now have the ability to submit applications for a license. These regulations introduced on 12th January 2021 by the Mexican government means that companies wishing to manufacture such products should be able to in due course. In a report by NBC News, it was stated that should the legislation be formally passed, Mexico would become the largest market of legal cannabis in the world, therefore, exemplifying the potential positive effects on the economy that it would bring. One such positive impact on the economy in Mexico is the idea of medical cannabis tourism which was mentioned in Forbes Magazine. The notion that citizens and non-citizens would be able to cross the border carrying their medical cannabis supplies creates a freedom previously unseen in Latin America. It should also be mentioned that the positive effects are not simply economic, but also social. There has been a problem with drug trafficking within Mexico, however, with legalised cannabis in written into legislation, it is possible that some of the stresses associated with managing the trade of illegal cannabis may be alleviated.
Medicinal cannabis may not be the only legal form of cannabis in the near future in Mexico. Industrial uses of cannabis have been on the rise in recent years. One company which is pioneering this is Heaven Grown, a construction company of Mexican origin which uses hempcrete to create sustainable building opportunities. Not only are Mexican construction companies seeing the benefits of using industrial cannabis, sectors such as food and drink are also being opened up to the possibility that cannabis can be used to enhance products. The webpage GOULA provided a list of products in this industry which could use cannabis, the list included:
· Ice cream
· Energy drinks
· Chewing gum
The diverse nature of industrial cannabis suggests that in Mexico the market is going to be large and therefore the chance of opportunity will be as well.
Overall, it can be seen that Mexico has the chance to set the example for Latin America when it comes to legalising certain forms of cannabis with the aim of diversifying current global markets. While the introduction of legal medicinal cannabis will mean many lives will be positively affected, the economic effects are also too large to ignore with valuations of the market showing only positive trends. Furthermore, the implementation of industrial cannabis in sectors such as construction and the food industry represent an alternative way in which the drug that once caused many problems within Mexico may be able to help it positively on a local and global scale.