On June 19th, Mexican President Peña Nieto published a bill that legalized the cultivation, production, and use of cannabis products with less than 1% THC for medical use.
The announcement that medical cannabis access has become law in Mexico is the culmination of years of effort by medical cannabis advocates to make the therapeutic use of cannabinoids legal in the country. Medical Marijuana, Inc. would like to to take a moment to recognize this momentous achievement for those who have worked so hard for it.
President Peña Nieto’s approval of the bill eliminates the criminalization of medicinal use cannabis and all cannabis derivatives and legalizes the production and distribution of cannabis for medicinal use, effective immediately. The bill does, however, limit the amount of permitted THC at 1%.
In many ways, the story of medical cannabis in Mexico begins with one little girl and her father, who fought for the right to import CBD oil. Following a 2015 court ruling, eight-year-old Grace Elizalde became the first patient in Mexico to legally access and use CBD therapeutically.
Grace’s father, Raul Elizalde, started the Por Grace Foundation to further nationwide access to cannabis by advocating for patients, hosting public forums, and meeting with government officials. Raul would later join President Peña Nieto on stage in April of 2016 as the leader announced the country would pursue medical cannabis reform.
Once the door had been opened in Mexico early in 2016 for the use of CBD hemp oil, Medical Marijuana, Inc. subsidiary HempMeds® Mexico began working with the country’s government to expand access to other patients in need of CBD. To meet specific requirements laid out by Mexico’s health authority, HempMeds® Mexico developed our first zero-THC hemp-derived CBD oil product, Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X™ (RSHO-X™).
The first permits issued for usage of RSHO-X™ in January 2016 were for two young girls with epilepsy, Maria Paula and Alina Maldonado Montes de Oca. Since then, COFEPRIS has issued hundreds of permits for RSHO-X™.
During this time, Mexico held public debates regarding cannabis legalization. Throughout January and February of 2016, events were held across Mexico to encourage lively, informed debate on legalization.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. sponsored and participated in several educational forums in conjunction with the debates that were designed to generate awareness among patients, doctors, health officials, and lawmakers regarding CBD hemp oil and the natural health benefits it elicits through interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
The medical cannabis bill passed Mexico’s Senate in December and then passed the lower house in April. In all, Mexico’s Congress passed the bill by an overwhelming majority, demonstrating the commitment Mexico’s government has to cannabis reform.
Several lawmakers, advocates, and civil groups, however, argue that the bill doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t allow for individual cannabis cultivation for personal use. Senator Armando Rios Pieter, who supports legalizing all marijuana as a means for combating the country’s brutal drug violence, was one of the few lawmakers to vote no on the bill.
After clearing Mexico’s Congress, the bill was sent to President Peña Nieto to approve and publish, which he did yesterday. The changes laid out in the bill are effective immediately. Though the Ministry of Health in Mexico is now tasked with drafting and implementing specific regulations.
The bill legalizes the buying, selling, importing, and exporting of cannabis products containing concentrations of 1 percent THC or less, as well as the cultivation of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes by pharmaceutical companies and universities.
Mexico’s new compassionate medical marijuana law helps suffering patients by opening access to multiple types of cannabis products. The bill changes cannabis’ classification in the country’s controlled substances list and gives the people of Mexico access to products containing THC for the first time.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. is proud to have been a part of Mexico’s journey to medical cannabis legalization through the involvement of HempMeds® Mexico. We will continue to work closely with patients, advocates, and the medical community in Mexico to ensure access to cannabinoids for all.
Learn more about medical cannabis, HempMeds® Mexico, and our CBD hemp oil products on our news feed. Patients in Mexico who are interested in importing CBD hemp oil products should visit HempMeds® Mexico.