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The Mexican Senate’s parliamentary commissions of justice, health and legislative study had a special joint meeting to provide updates on the upcoming legalization of marijuana.

During the meeting, Senator Julio Ramón Menchaca Salazar, president of the Justice Commission, emphasized that the Senate’s deadline to legalize is Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Senator Damián Zepeda Vidales of the Justice Commission asked for “reasonable time” to evaluate the bill, once it becomes available.

The problem is that despite the deadline being less than two weeks away, there remains at least a dozen different proposals.

Earlier this month, lower house majority leader Mario Martín Delgado Carrillo introduced a new bill that would create a state monopoly through a public company named Cannsalud. Last month, Menchaca Salazar introduced a bill that would legalize domestic growing.

However, local industry sources that spoke with Marijuana Business Daily are confident the bill that is being given priority is the one filed almost a year ago by Olga Sanchez Cordero, then a senator, now secretary of the interior, but with significant modifications. The Senate went through a process of public feedback and aspects from other bills are still being considered.

Menchaca said that before the special meeting, the combined commissions made “significant progress” with a draft, without revealing details of what that draft includes.

The combined commissions have an “intense week” ahead, he said, and promised to present the final draft on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Senators will then have just four days to evaluate the bill before voting the following Wednesday.

The lower chamber will also have to approve the bill.

Because the government holds majorities in both houses of congress, no significant opposition is expected.

This week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that legalizing marijuana is not his government’s priority, adding uncertainty to an already confusing situation.

Alfredo Pascual can be reached at [email protected]