Narcos on notice: Mexico could be about to board the legalised cannabis train
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Legal weed could be imminent in Mexico, with federal lawmakers set to vote on the matter in the coming days.
Legalisation efforts are part of a strategy by the Mexican government, led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, to change how authorities address the country’s ongoing drug war.
Decriminalising cannabis may go some way towards diverting production and distribution channels, which are still primarily the domain of violent drug cartels.
Mexican senator Ricardo Monreal told Reuters on Monday that a vote on legalisation will take place in the upper house by the end of next week.
If successful, it would then go to a vote in the lower house, where Obrador’s MORENA party also has a majority.
Mexican lawmakers are approaching an October 24 deadline which was initially set out by the country’s highest court late last year, after it ruled in multiple cases that criminalising cannabis was in breach of the Mexican constitution.
If the bill is passed, Mexico would become the third country globally — following Canada and Uruguay — to legalise recreational cannabis use at the federal level.
Monreal said the only thing that would prevent the bill being tabled in parliament would be if lawmakers withhold the vote in favour of holding a referendum on the issue.
Back in Australia, and ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay has sent a strongly-worded letter to his federal counterpart Christian Porter, amid some speculation the Commonwealth government may move to overturn the ACT’s cannabis legalisation laws.
Ramsay said he would have “deep concern” if the Federal government moved to strike down the legislation, which permits up to 50g of cannabis for personal use.
To the ASX, and it was a rough week for pot stocks — a move which was in line with their global counterparts after some sharp falls on US and Canadian markets.
Of the 33 companies tracked by Stockhead, just five gained ground over the past week while another five were unchanged, and no less than 23 finished in the red.
Leading the laggards this week was Auscann Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: AC8), after the price slumped on Monday when Canadian cannabis player Canopy Growth offloaded its entire 13 per cent stake in the company to WA-based financial services company Merchant Funds Management Pty Ltd.
Canopy itself has often been front and centre in discussions around the outlook for the global cannabis sector in recent years.
The company made headlines in June 2018 when it received a $US4 billion investment from Constellation Brands, the brewing conglomerate which has names such as Corona and Pacifico in its stable.
But in August this year Constellation said it would book a loss of $US54.8m on its investment so far, with Canopy still expected to be years from profitability.
Below is Stockhead’s latest summary of weekly and annual price performance for ASX-listed cannabis stocks:
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