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Legal marijuana is expected generate up to 18 billion pesos (US $945 million) in tax revenue in 2020, according to a ruling party senator.

A bill to legalize cannabis is expected to be passed in the Senate later this week.

The chairman of the Senate Justice Committee, Julio Menchaca, told the newspaper El Financiero that the marijuana business “is a multibillion-peso industry.”

“. . . I spoke with Finance Secretary [Arturo Herrera] and he told me that his office calculates 18 billion pesos” is what legalization could mean in tax revenues in 2020, Menchaca said.

Such projections give lawmakers less worry about the budget for the creation of the Mexican Cannabis Institute, which is expected to be up and running by January 1, 2021.

Senator Menchaca said that a number of Senate committees have hastened efforts to get the bill passed on the Senate floor this week.

Meanwhile, Senate President Mónica Fernández is soliciting the Supreme Court for an extension of a few days to approve the recreational use of cannabis, the deadline for which was October 24.

Menchaca highlighted that the preliminary documentation of the law circulated last week establishes the legalization of the plant in three domains: recreational, industrial and medical research.

He also said that the process of granting licenses should give preference to rural Mexican farmers over foreign businesses. However, after reading the documentation, he said “it appears to be interpreted the other way around.”

The cannabis institute will be responsible for coordinating the plant’s transition from the informal economy into legality. To do so, it will create mechanisms by which the national market will be supplied with cannabis plants and seeds.

The recently established National Association for the Cannabis Industry (ANICANN) said in September that it too anticipates marijuana to bring enormous economic benefits to industry and medicine.

It estimates that the number of recreational consumers of marijuana could reach 7.2 million, which would represent as much as US $5 billion in annual sales.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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