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Prohibition, decriminalization and legalization: What does it mean for cannabis?

The legal status of cannabis is a subject of constant debate, during the last years we have witnessed various changes and legal advances for the use of the plant, and, in many times we have advocated for new betters and laws.

There are terms that frequently are mentioned when it comes to talk about cannabis' legal status, such as prohibition, decriminalization and legalization. It is important that the users as well as entrepreneurs understand the meaning of these terms under the context of the plant.

First, we will talk about prohibition: From a legal point of view, is the limitation that an individual has of touching, utilizing or doing anything. It is supported by the laws established by the state, and implies a legal sanction of which the judicial power is in charge.

For example, The United Arab Emirates, both the cultivation and the sale or possession of cannabis are totally prohibited and correspond to a long criminal sentence.

On the other hand, decriminalization constitutes the act of retracting or removing the sanctions for an action that is considered to be of a criminal nature. Therefore, it is no longer classified as a crime. This was the case in Mexico, which in June 2021 eliminated the laws that prohibited the use of cannabis and, this way, decriminalized that act.

Lastly, legalization refers to the incorporation of a practice or custom into a norm or law, and broadens the legal norms or activities previously excluded from the positive order. Legalization may or may not be related to a previously prohibited act. In this case we have Colombia as an example, a country that legalized the medicinal use of the plant.

In the US, in the scheme and legal system it is a little more complex to apply these terms, since cannabis has not been legalized at the federal level, but in many states there are a variety of laws that have partially established the cannabis market within the country.

The laws of cannabis contemplate different aspects: planting and cultivation, personal consumption, medical use, cannabinoids and more, Decriminalization and legalization usually come with certain restrictions, so it is important not only to understand the terms but also to know the laws very well to avoid sanctions or propose better laws for the region that would benefit the health, research, and economy of the countries.

If you are interested in starting a business in the medical cannabis industry in the state of Texas, this is your opportunity! The Regulatory Services Division (RSD) The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is accepting applications for dispensary licenses under the Compassionate Use Program until April 28th

Attend the Pharmacology University seminar on April 8th and learn all about the details of the application process hand to hand from experts with more than 15 years of experience.

For more info, visit our website:

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