Mexico is set to become the world’s largest legal cannabis market with the lower house Chamber of Deputies due to debate a proposal to legalise recreational use this week.

The bill is backed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration and follows Senate approval to legalise medicinal cannabis late last year.

Former President Vicente Fox, a board member of global medicinal cannabis company Khiron Life Sciences, said the move would create jobs, wealth and medical advances while helping to reduce the cartel violence that has plagued the country.

“We’re taking away this beautiful plant from criminals and putting it in the hands of retailers and farmers,” he said.

UPDATE (March 12): The bill passed the Chamber of Deputies and will now proceed to the Senate.

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