The United States will soon be sandwiched between two nations with federally legalized marijuana. Just days before the Thanksgiving holiday, Mexico moved forward with legislation legalizing the cannabis plant for a variety of uses.
This comes on the heels of Canada’s historic legalization several years ago, which has created a viable international marketplace, channeling funds through the Canadian markets and effectively mobilizing the global cannabis industry.
When Canada legalized, the U.S. missed an opportunity to ensure that NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange would have a role in controlling the financial markets and dollars funneling into cannabis. This was expected since Jeff Sessions was in control of the Department of Justice (DOJ). We didn’t necessarily have a pro-cannabis Administration under Trump and certainly not under the leadership of Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, no friend to marijuana. Despite this, what are the implications for America doing business with partners directly to the north and south?
At first, you might think none of this matters as the U.S. has legalized adult-use marijuana programs state-by-state. While this dispensary models still violates federal law, it has garnered bipartisan support from American politicians to prevent the DOJ from interfering with legal, state marijuana businesses. But the issue is much larger.
We’re talking about a global cannabis economy, with Mexico as the largest country in the world, by population, to legalize marijuana. Mexico will boast the biggest consumer market for cannabis products — with a population of more than 125 million people – representing an enormous leap forward for the developing international cannabis marketplace.