Mexico’s highest court has given the Ministry of Health 180 business days to release regulations that shape a new medical marijuana industry.
The Tribunal Supremo de la Nación heard the case of an epileptic child that has been unable to secure the medicine he needs due to the lack of official regulations. “Due to the absence of rules regulating the therapeutic use of cannabis, it was impossible for the plaintiff to access treatment based on this substance or any of its derivatives,” said the court in a statement.
It gave the Ministry of Health a maximum of 180 days in which to lay down the official framework for a medical marijuana program. The Ministry responded by pledging to comply with the ruling, release the rules within the allotted time period and ensure the child secures the medicine he needs.
In June 2017, President Enrique Nieto signed into law a bill that permitted the use of cannabis products with a THC content of less than 1%. Mexico’s Supreme Court said the Ministry of Health should have issued official regulations governing the industry within 180 days of that bill being signed, but it has failed to do so. It is now under pressure to correct that oversight.
It has issued guidelines for medical marijauana on its website in October 2018, but not regulations. They were then withdrawn in March 2019 as officials in different government departments could not agree on whether they were fit for purpose.
It has left patients and doctors confused as to what is permitted and the Supreme Court said there is a lack of harmony in the current provisions for medical marijuana.
Last year, the Supreme Court declared that a ban on recreational cannabis use is unconstitutional. In five separate rulings it determined that a ban on using marijuana impinges upon an individual’s constitutional right to effect personal development, and all other courts are now obliged to follow that ruling, while the government was obliged to legalize recreational use.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has always been keen on legalizing adult-use marijuana as one way of helping the country’s war on drugs, so he is all for it. Mexico has already begun approving CBD-based wellness products for sale at retailers and pharmacies across the country.