Cannabis Expo features advocates, industry & legal talk about Cannabiz in Mexico.
The Cannabis Expo presented by Juicy Fields in Mexico City featured a mixed bag of topics, from pharmaceutical & health regulation, to advocacy for human rights and decriminalization, to legal and international outlooks for the coming years. The event happened on the eve before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation is expected to vote whether or not they will uphold their 2018 ruling, which found that adult-use marijuana prohibition is unconstitutional.
LA Weekly´s associate publisher of cannabis, Michael Miller, opened the event with some observations on the state of an emerging global cannabis industry, comparing Mexico to such countries as Colombia & Chile, where medicinal cannabis is legal and the medical marijuana industries are just beginning to take hold. Jeff Verlinden of Separations, a pharmaceutical laboratory supply company based in South Africa, talked on the challenges that many companies face when entering the medical marijuana markets. He highlighted the need for better regulation to meet international GMP and GACP standards, particularly in the European Union. Franz Sima of Happy Plant, a grow operation in Austria, shared his experience of European pharmaceutical standards & compliance, while Gustavo Escobar of Colombia´s Clever Leaves highlighted that new businesses and investors entering the industry must understand the evolving nature of regulation, permitting and pharmaceutical processing standards if import/export are part of their business models.
Other highlights included a Q&A with Len May of Endocanna Health, a company that specializes in personalizing marijuana strains to your DNA; Israel Madrid of El Consejo Mexicano de Cannabis & Cáñamo, who emphasized the need for continuing education of medical & health professionals, and Dr. Luis David Suárez Rodríguez of the Asociación Mexicana de Medicina Cannabinoide, who advocated to expand Mexican pharmaceutical standards to include marijuana-derived health & wellness products. The event was not without its social activists: Jiangsu Wongpec of Alianza Latinoamericana de la Cannabis presented on his organization´s outreach over the last several years to erase stigma around marijuana consumption and help educate Mexican society. Lorena Beltran of Cannabisalud, meanwhile, called for women to take on more entrepreneurial & leadership roles in the nascent LatAm industry. Attorney Luis Armendáriz Prieto of CAAM Legal wrapped up the second day by stressing the importance of understanding the Mexican legal system, and what to expect from the bureaucratic processes of securing permits & authorizations before developing business relationships or investing in the Mexican cannabis industry.
The event was chock-full of networking, open to anyone looking to invest or learn what this emerging industry has to offer. With the advent of decriminalized recreational use likely and a medical industry just taking hold, Mexico is proving to attract a lot of interest from abroad. One thing is certain, Mexico is preparing for a fully legalized cannabis industry to roll out in the coming years.