California-based Medical Marijuana eyes Mexico as next big market
By Natalie Grover
Feb 2 (Reuters) - Medical Marijuana Inc, a pioneer in the industrial hemp business, is betting on Mexico as its next big market as the country opens up to the import of some cannabis-derived products for medical use.
The California-based company manufactures a hemp oil which can, under permits granted this week, be imported to Mexico for the first time to treat specific medical cases. It already supplies a similar product to Brazil.
Stuart Titus, Medical Marijuana's chief executive, said Mexico represented a "$1 billion to $2 billion opportunity" in terms of cumulative revenue over the next 10 years.
Many companies in the legal cannabis business are considering a bet on Mexico after a Supreme Court decision in November opened the door for the eventual legalization of recreational marijuana.
Just days after this decision, a ruling party senator proposed a bill to allow the import of medical marijuana products to help the roughly 5,000 patients without access to such drugs. This bill could be approved by May.
Medical Marijuana, a company controlled by private equity firm General Hemp LLC, will be able to import its Real Scientific Hemp Oil, or RSHO-X, before then.
On Monday, Mexico's health ministry and Cofepris, the health regulator, authorized imports of the product for the specific use of two patients, in both cases young, female epilepsy sufferers.
The permits are the first to be granted by the government bodies, although a judge last year sanctioned the import of a similar product for a third girl, said Andres Aguinaco, a lawyer representing the two girls named in Monday's announcement. Continuación...