Mexico’s health ministry published rules Jan. 12 to regulate the country’s forthcoming medical cannabis market, according to a Reuters report.
The move will allow pharmaceutical companies to start conducting medical research on cannabis products, and is part of broader policy reform efforts to regulate medical and adult-use cannabis in Mexico, the news outlet reported.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has signed off on the regulations, which require companies to obtain approval from COFEPRIS, Mexico’s health regulator, before launching medical cannabis research, according to Reuters. Once approved, companies must conduct research in strictly controlled, independent laboratories, the news outlet reported.
The regulations also include rules for the cultivation and harvesting of medical cannabis, according to Reuters, and while some cannabis plant imports will be allowed for companies looking to produce medical cannabis products, the regulations prohibit cannabis exports.
The Mexico Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that an absolute ban on cannabis was unconstitutional, which forced lawmakers to pass legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level. Lawmakers have delayed an adult-use cannabis legalization vote several times, but final legislation is expected to pass in the next period of Congress, according to Reuters.