SXSW 2023

On the Border: Cannabis Legalization in N America


Sandwiched between two countries where cannabis is nationally legal (or soon-to-be), sits the United States. With its state-by-state patchwork of full and partial legalization, with plenty of prohibition mixed in, it sits in stark contrast with its neighbors up north (Canada) and down south (Mexico). And although each nation shares similar goals when it comes to cannabis, their paths to legalization, public sentiment about legalization and marketplace structures remain vastly different. How will this uneven playing field impact the North American cannabis marketplace, international relations, tourism, trade policy, and the urgency of a US federal legalization plan?

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  1. Canada and Mexico’s legalization efforts could expedite federal legalization in the US and must if it wants to retain footing as a policy leader.
  2. Equity in the marketplace for minorities and indigenous people and building fairer justice systems are critical concerns for all three nations.
  3. The US, Canada, and Mexico's separate approaches to legalization have the potential to influence how other countries model their own cannabis laws.



Kate Taylor, Account Director, Berk Communications

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Cannabis
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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