It seems medical cannabis products containing higher levels of THC will soon be available in Mexico.
According to a report published on Riviera Maya News, the federal commissioner of COFEPRIS (Federal Committee for Protection from Sanitary Risks) has indicated cannabis-based medicine will be available in Mexico reasonably early next year.
Currently, cannabis medicines are limited to 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) maximum and individual permits have been required for importation of cannabidiol (CBD). Only several hundred permits have been issued to date and the program had been criticised for how restrictive it was.
A bill passed by Mexico’s Senate and Lower House of Congress late last year and earlier this year seeks to change this and reclassifies THC as “therapeutic”.
“The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes,” read part of a Congressional statement.
COFEPRIS Federal Commissioner Julio Sánchez Tepoz says after 30 days of the new law being registered in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), medical companies will be able to commence importing cannabis-based products.
However, the Riviera May News says President Enrique Peña Nieto, who was once opposed to medical cannabis, must still sign the bill into law – but various other sources state this already occurred in June.
What was published in June was a Presidential decree authorising the development of a framework for medical marijuana regulations, which states (translated):
“Article 235 Bis.- The Ministry of Health shall design and implement public policies that regulate the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and American or marijuana, among which is tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers and stereochemical variants, as well as how to regulate the research and national production of the same.”
The government is expected to complete approvals for the regulation of marijuana-based medicinal products in the first quarter of 2018.
Anything marijuana related is a particularly sensitive topic in Mexico where more than a hundred thousand people have been murdered in the past decade by Mexican drug cartels