Mexico: The Supreme Court of Justice authorized the industrial use of cannabis.
December 8, 2021
As a result of the refusal of the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) to grant authorization to a company who requested authorization for sowing, farming and harvesting of cannabis (in its variant hemp) for the elaboration of products with concentrations equal to or less than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); an appeal was filed and eventually was taken up by the Mexican Supreme Court in 2020.
Thus, on December 1st, the Justices of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, decided in favour of such company by declaring the unconstitutionality of the provisions of the Health Law and the Criminal Code, which prohibit and sanction the sowing, farming, and harvest of cannabis, in its variant hemp, for purposes other than medical and scientific (industrial use).
In brief, the Supreme Court concluded that the prohibitions constitute an unnecessary measure, which causes a disproportionate impact on the freedom of trade, since there are alternatives equally suitable to safeguard health and public order.
The Supreme Court ordered COFEPRIS to issue the corresponding permit to the applicant company, as long as they guarantee that the cannabis obtained through such activities (sawing, farming, and harvest) contains concentrations equal to or less than 1% of THC and that such production is conducted under the corresponding conditions of monitoring, control and security appointed by the competent authority, aiming to protect health and public order.
It is worth mentioning that this decision does not legalize neither regulate the cannabis market. Moreover, the effects of this decision will only apply to the plaintiff.
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Alejandro Luna F.
Alejandro Luna joined OLIVARES in 1996 and being made partner in 2005, he has been instrumental to the firm’s IP Litigation, Regulatory, and Administrative Litigation practices. He co-chairs the Life Sciences & Pharmaceutical Law industry group and coordinates the Litigation Department.
Gustavo Alcocer manages the Corporate and Commercial Law Group at OLIVARES, advising domestic and foreign businesses and the owners of those businesses on Mexican and cross-border corporate and commercial transactions.
Armando Arenas joined OLIVARES in 2000 and became a partner in January 2017. He has experience working on a range of IP matters, including consulting and litigation on trademark, patent, unfair competition, trade dress protection, and misleading advertising cases before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), Federal Court of Tax and Administrative Affairs (FCTA), Federal Circuit Courts (FCC) and the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) Regulatory Affairs and Public Acquisitions.