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Mexico Regulators Authorize The Cultivation Of Low-THC Hemp

hemp cannabis leaf

Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) has reportedly authorized the cultivation of low-THC hemp plants (less than 1% THC content). The announcement came in the form of a letter from the regulatory entity to Semillas Endemicas Mexicanna SA de CV, as originally reported by El Planteo.

“The official document acquired by El Planteo, dated November 17, 2023 but delivered to the company just a few days ago, details the conditions under which Semillas Endemicas Mexicanna SA de CV can operate. The permit includes the import of seeds, the processing of hemp for the extraction of cannabidiol (CBD), and the marketing of cannabidiol oil as long as the THC content in the plants does not exceed 1%.” El Planteo stated in its coverage.

“The requested health authorization must guarantee that the plant produces concentrations equal to or less than 1% of THC and under the monitoring, control and safety conditions that the competent authority deems appropriate to protect health and public order.” the regulator’s letter reportedly stated.

Mexico has a long history with the cannabis plant, with many of the nation’s unregulated cannabis farms historically supplying markets in the United States. In recent years, as cannabis policy modernization has spread across the United States, less cannabis has been smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.

In December 2021, Mexico’s Supreme Court deemed barriers to low-THC cannabis production to be unconstitutional. The 2021 decision followed a previous Supreme Court decision in 2019 that deemed prohibition policies pertaining to the personal use of cannabis to be unconstitutional.

Despite the landmark decisions in Mexico, there was still the regulatory hurdle of COFEPRIS granting its authorization for low-THC hemp production. The issuance of authorization to Semillas Endemicas Mexicanna SA de CV by COFEPRIS marks a major milestone for Mexico’s emerging legal industry.

COFEPRIS emphasized that the issuance of this one authorization does not open the floodgates to unfettered low-THC hemp production in Mexico.

According to an April 2022 market analysis, New Frontier Data determined that “Mexico’s total 2021 imports of hemp fiber were worth $120,000, or 25 metric tons (MT). Among those, imports from the United States accounted for 63% of the total of the tariff group, with France second at 29%.”

“In 2020, Mexico’s CBD market was valued at $9.2 million.” New Frontier Data stated. “Expectations over the next seven years are for the market to reach $675 million.”