Mexico to Legalize Marijuana-Based Products in Early 2018

According to health regulators in Mexico, the nation will legalize the sale of marijuana-based medicines, foods, drinks, cosmetics and other products early next year.

Arturo Tornel, spokesman for health regulator Cofepris, said that the agency plans to formally publish the regulation for pot-based goods within days, allowing those items to enter the Mexico market as soon as a month later, reports Reuters. Tornel notes that Cofepris expects distributors and retailers to import the items, with some companies eventually producing items in Mexico using marijuana grown abroad. The regulation does not apply to sales of pure marijuana.

Supporters of the move expect that it will help to reduce the wealth of drug cartels, which use marijuana as a major source of income.

Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico have also legalized medical marijuana, and in 2013 Uruguay become the first country to allow the commercial cultivation and distribution of cannabis. Canada will be legalizing the plant next year, and in the U.S. eight states have as well.

In 2015 Mexico’s Supreme Court granted four people the right to grow their own marijuana for personal consumption, opening the door to legalization.

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