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Mexico’s Government Should Sell Marijuana, Key Lawmaker Proposes

Nacha Cattan

(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s government shouldn’t only regulate pot, it should be the main bulk buyer and seller of the drug, lower house majority leader Mario Delgado proposed in a new bill.

A public company named Cannsalud would be authorized exclusively to acquire cannabis from growers with permits and then sell the drug to franchises authorized to sell small amounts to the public, according to the bill.

“This way the cannabis market wouldn’t be left to the autonomous regulation by individuals, but would involve the state as a permanent supervisor and controller of activity involving this substance within a legal framework that would guarantee benefits for all,” the bill states.

Delgado’s ruling Morena party holds majorities in both house of congress, and his intention to push for state involvement in the marijuana trade is in line with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s pledge to increase government presence in the private sector. Lopez Obrador has said regulation of some drugs like marijuana is possible under his administration, but it’s unclear if he’d support a government company running the trade.

Individuals would be able to grow as many as six plants for personal use without permits, but Cannsalud would be the exclusive seller of marijuana to the pharmaceutical industry, according to the bill.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has said Mexico should promote other story lines beyond television shows that portray it as overrun by narcos.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Robert Jameson

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