Before the holiday, I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at The Global Business of Cannabis Conference organized by the American Bar Association International Law Section. My panel looked at the wide range of the current progress towards legalization of cannabis across North America – Canada (recreational cannabis legal since 2018), Mexico (legislation pending to legalize recreational marijuana), and Brazil (still strictly illegal, but pending legislation to consider allowing medical marijuana). We then tried to look into our crystal balls to try to see what the future of international trade of marijuana might look like in the hopefully not too distant future.

At this point there is little to no international trade of legal cannabis. In the U.S., it is still illegal for marijuana to cross state borders, let alone national borders. Even between countries where cannabis is legal, the international trade is limited to medical and scientific purposes and subject to extensive regulatory and licensing requirements from both importing and exporting countries. No one realistically expects fully free international trade of legal cannabis to happen any time in the near future. But the continuing trend towards legalization of cannabis in so many countries suggests that the potential

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