Mexico’s Supreme Court on Wednesday issued the country’s first-ever authorization for planting, cultivating and harvesting cannabis for industrial purposes.
It granted the right to a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian firm Xebra Brands, which cultivates hemp and produces products such as cannabis-infused drinks.
Cannabis use became legal in Canada in 2018.
While industrial cannabis production is still illegal in Mexico, a country wracked by decades of drugs wars, the court responded positively to an injunction against the prohibition filed by the firm Desart MX, a Mexican subsidiary of Vancouver-based firm.
The ruling obliges the firm to “guarantee that the plant produces concentrations equal to or less than one percent” of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the active substance of the plant.
It added that production must meet “the monitoring, control and security conditions that the competent authority (…) deems appropriate to protect health and public order.”
A judicial source explained to AFP that the ruling will apply only to Desart MX, and that it is a first step toward granting the company full permits.
The ruling is the latest issued by the Supreme Court in recent years to loosen prohibitions on the use of hemp.
The court this year decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana and instructed Congress to legislate on the matter, although the bill is still under debate in the Senate after the lower house approved it.
Uruguay and Colombia have the most advanced regulations on the production, marketing and export of cannabis in Latin America.
In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis. For its part, Colombia authorized the industrial use of cannabis and its export for medicinal purposes in July.