As a Canadian citizen, I’ve possessed a medical marijuana license for the past two years in Canada (where both medical and recreational marijuana is now legal), and am connected with licensed retailers of medical marijuana and CBD based products within Canada for my personal use. However, as a ‘snowbird’ residing in Mexico for half the year, it’s been a learning experience on how to best deal with the issues surrounding the legality, availability, and the quality of CBD based products for me to use.
This article focuses solely on the latter two items; the current availability and quality of CBD based products in Mexico that have been positioned to me via the inquiries made over the past while, along with the personal confusion from the ‘sufficiently vague’ responses. A future article will focus solely on the current legal issues in Mexico regarding the use of personal and medical marijuana/CBD products.
This is NOT to say that there isn’t anything illegal going on right now in Mexico, it’s just a real hodgepodge of legal matters the new Mexican federal government is currently dealing with as a result of the October 31st Supreme Court ruling. The new federal government is working on the legislation, or a set of bills, to ultimately best govern the use of medical and personal marijuana in all the 32 Mexican states.
As of the publication date of this article, the availability of medical marijuana/CBD based products within Mexico is currently governed by “it has to be from a licensed Mexican physician who has to have the permit to issue the prescription, and the physician must operate within the civic boundaries of Mexico City.” If a Mexican citizen wishes to obtain a license/prescription for medical marijuana and/or CBD products, it’s a road trip to Mexico City! NONE of the physicians in the area I live in will refer me to such a doctor in Mexico City, because
I’m not a Mexican resident and
My Canadian license is invalid in Mexico! The other means of availability is knowing someone who has personal access to it.
I started my search via Google keywords and carefully crafted inquiries on social media platforms, which led to a number of responses that did nothing to add any clarity to the matter, no easier to comprehend. Yes, I know being a man means I’m not good with details, but it was a real mess! For instance, Google returned a bunch of places outside Mexico that’ll import here, claiming that it’s legal for them to export it here; (however, it might not be legal to import the products!).
Social media responses were a real #clusterf**k as some responders claimed they were located in Mexico but acted as the ‘middle person’ or a distributor for the manufacturer, while others were located out of the country.
They were more than happy to take my money and process the order with the manufacturer, which after much prodding on my part, I discovered could be located anywhere and the aforementioned issues surrounding customs clearance reared its ugly head.
I received a plethora of responses from people that are into the MLM game, which provided absolutely no value to my quandary, and in fact, it only made it worse! Eventually, I had to block them on all my social media platforms, and it’s disheartening how the old MLM or ‘networking business opportunity’ model has quickly permeated the CBD industry. It seems that unsavory cliques were only interested in signing me up as a distributor, and/or unable or unwilling to provide any qualitative information on the shipping of their products. It was also interesting to see on social media how many other members or representatives from these MLM organizations were being warned off by other social media groups or members due to a variety of situations.
I contacted companies and representatives who responded to my inquiries that were located throughout the world, to confirm if all their CBD only products were available to be shipped to me in Mexico. I was given the standard line that it’s ‘legal for them to ship the CBD products to Mexico,’ and that they typically use couriers or via their country post office, which then is turned over to the Mexican postal service ( SEPOMEX) to complete the delivery. BUT, their disclaimer was that they cannot guarantee delivery, as once it leaves their location it’s out of their control, and it’s up to Mexican Customs authorities if the package is inspected and/or refused entry into Mexico! CBD products that contain no THC ‘should make it through,’ however, products with a blend of THC might be detected by drug-sniffing dogs, which puts the person ordering the product at risk and being charged with importation of a controlled substance.
In the Cancun/Playa Del Carmen/Tulum corridor, there are many ‘vape stores’ that sell the equipment to use medical marijuana and CBD based products, but they disavow any access to the products, as it’s technically illegal for them to sell products. They even stated that they did NOT want any further inquiries of this nature from us!
The value proposition for knowing what you’re putting in your body applies to the food you eat, the water you drink and the air you breathe, as in Mexico we drink bottled water, we bring our own ice to the beach for drinks and wash our fruit and vegetables before eating or cooking them, plus we’re careful about when and where we go outside, as my wife and I have asthma, so clear days rule!
The same logic and care must be applied to the CBD products, as the last thing you need is a life-threatening allergic reaction to an unknown or unlisted additive in the CBD product/edible you’re using. In Canada, I’m interviewed by a physician who confirms if I’m allergic to any drugs or substances, and engages me with providers that produce and sell the right products. I know what the blends or mixes of CBD based products are safe for me and able to select CBD only or a ratio of THC/CBD that best meets my needs and won’t get me an ambulance ride to the hospital or worse a mortuary gurney (although my wife knows my life insurance policy is paid up and in good standing!).
The same care is needed when procuring medical marijuana and/or CBD products from an unknown source, as one has to ask the hard questions about the content of the specific product to confirm its safety. From my short experience with ‘distributors,’ ‘independent retailers,’ or ‘referral agents’ they are ill-equipped to answer the questions, and/or gloss over it to make a sale. I’m sure many of the readers have not had an unpleasant experience and that’s great! But it’s critical to know what the CBD products contain so it actually helps your condition, not inflame it or create a new set of medical grief!
Ratios of CBD/THC
It’s always a good practice to operate under the premise CBD/THC blend is in the product, as no product is 100% CBD or THC free, there’ll always be minute percentages or trace amounts of THC in CBD products, it’s just basic hemp plant botany, no matter how rigorous the straining process! If you are employed by a company that has random drug tests and you’re taking ‘CBD only’ products, please remember there’ll be a trace amount of THC in your system.
Many manufacturers are now listing a ‘range’ of CBD/THC percentages in their product blends, which is a diversion from the hardcoded ranges that have been the historical benchmark. So may the buyer beware! Again, these issues were not adequately explained by many of the reps I communicated with on social media; their reply was that it was ‘all-natural’ …which means NOTHING!
I know the article sounds negative or similar to an insurance agent selling you a policy, however for those CBD users planning a vacation, a longer stay, or have just arrived in Mexico, please understand there’s a huge legal vacuum right now.
It’s the wild west and until the new laws and associated standards come into effect, it’s up to the individual to do their homework, ask the right questions and ensure that what they’re putting into their system will actually help them, and not cause more grief. The last thing one needs is to return home in a box or cremation urn!
Furthermore, I do not know what rules apply/do not apply to licensed medical marijuana/CBD based products for clients from jurisdictions outside of Canada, so I’m unable to speak with any legal authority to any agreements in process, or any agreements with a current standing that may exist between your particular country and Mexico. Please verify with the consulate or embassy staff from your particular country for a qualified explanation.
I look forward to your emails, letters, and tweets!
About the Author:
C.J. is a Canadian baby-boomer aged comedian, who does not do winters, enjoys playing tennis, laying on the beach soaking up the sun, and watching the world go by. C. J has been using CBD based products for managing his aches and pains for over two years.