Mexico’s $1.3 trillion economy is the second-largest in Latin America, the 15th-largest in the world, and the US-China trade war has vaulted Mexico (and Canada) far past China as a top U.S. trading partner. As global companies seek to diversify their supply chains, Mexico offers proximity to U.S. markets, modern infrastructure, access to ports for global distribution, and a highly-skilled, well-educated workforce.
Mexico is much more than just manufacturing (U.S. companies exported over $250 billion of goods and services to Mexico in 2019), and over the past few years more and more companies have come to Harris Bricken to figure out the best ways to bring their goods and services to the Mexican market.
We support clients entering or operating in Mexico with new entity formation, mergers, and acquisitions, real estate transactions, intellectual property rights protection, employment, and labor issues, as well as complex cross-border litigation. Plus, our Mexico legal team has decades of commercial and residential real estate experience, and they are able to provide expert advice on investment vehicles and tax implications, as well as conduct comprehensive due diligence on potential stock or asset purchases.
All of this has positioned Harris Bricken as valuable counsel to foreign companies entering the cannabis market in Mexico. In January 2021, the cultivation, processing, merchandising and import/export of medical cannabis was legalized in Mexico, making the country the largest in the world to have legalized cannabis.
The Regulations on Sanitary Control for the Production, Research and Medical Use of Cannabis and Its Pharmacological Derivatives (the “Regulations”) provide for the phased implementation of certain business activities in order to facilitate coordination among the government agencies in charge of interpreting and administering the Regulations.
While Mexico’s Ministry of Health, COFEPRIS (Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks), and various other Mexican governmental agencies work to implement the Regulations for cultivators, processors, distributors, retailers and importers/exporters, foreign cannabis investors and businesses are moving quickly to ensure they are licensed and compliant with existing laws and regulations.
Harris Bricken has a long history of providing international cannabis ventures with the legal planning, regulatory support, corporate and transactional guidance, and compliance strategies they need. Since 2015, we have represented buyers and sellers in international cannabis mergers and acquisitions, including foreign nationals and investors. The breadth of international cannabis work handled by our U.S., European and Chinese lawyers, and by our international trade team, has expanded rapidly ever since.
Today, the race is on for market share in the cannabis industry around the world as laws continue to change. Our thorough understanding of Mexico’s foreign investment regulations, compliance requirements, and tax laws, combined with our knowledge of the broader legal environment, ultimately allows us to assist our clients in securing lucrative cannabis licenses with an eye to future business endeavors as legalization spreads across the globe.
If you’re contemplating a cannabis business venture of any kind in Mexico, you will need legal support. Our Mexico team is of course both English- and Spanish-speaking. We already know the Mexican legal and regulatory playing fields, and can help you and/or your company get up to speed on what matters most now for current and future licensing and business opportunities in “el ombligo de la luna”.
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