Five varieties of cannabis from the Mexican state of Oaxaca have been proposed for inclusion in the country’s national catalogue of seed and vegetable varietals, reported the Mexico-based news outlet El Universal. Should they be accepted for entry, they would become the first cannabis strains to be included in the registry.

Cannabis varietals — otherwise known as strains or chemovars — must be registered if their seeds will be used in legal products. The plan has been proposed by Daniel Ramírez López, an agronomist who works with the Oaxacan cannabis advocacy group de la Agri-Food Consulting [COAGRO].

The varietals proposed for the Mexican seed catalog all have a long history of cultivation in Oaxaca, says Ramírez López. They include Oaxaca Highland (which he says is characterized by a low THC content), the Oaxaqueña Pelirroja (in English, “Red-Headed Oaxacan,” which is reportedly found throughout the southern Mexican states and has a strong citrus flavor), the Púpura Oaxaqueña (which has a dark purple flower, high tannin count, and lighter psychoactive effects), the Verde Limón Oaxaqueña (a strain that allegedly comes from the southern Oaxacan town of Villa Sola de Vega), and the Zorrilluda de Oaxaca (of which the only information given in the El Universal article is that it has “a very intense odor.”)

“It is urgent and necessary that we in Mexico register seeds,” said Ramírez López. “Because we have so many seeds that were illegal for so long.”

Former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a bill to legalize medical marijuana nationwide in 2017, and official regulations for the medical cannabis industry were published in January of this year. Senate leaders said the legalization of recreational weed is on the docket for this year’s legislative session — although they’ve been saying that since Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down cannabis prohibition in 2018.

The government’s seed catalog is run by the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural development, and its contents are available online. According to the catalog’s website, “It was established solely for seed qualification purposes, and does not confer any legal protection on the rights of plant breeders, nor does it imply that their agronomic behavior or their adaptive and yield capacity have been assessed in a given region.”

Various advocacy groups are working to recognize, preserve, and financially stabilize Oaxaca’s cannabis agriculture. In April, the state’s government granted 26 medical cultivation permits to the state’s Indigenous communities — an effort involving Ramírez López, according to another report by El Universal.

But Oaxaca is not the only place in Mexico where movements are building to recognize campesino and Indigenous rights to the plant — and the profits that will arise from its production and sale as legal access expands. In Tetecala, Morelos, a group comprised largely of former sugar cane farmers has declared their community “the first cannabis town” in Mexico, and have been hosting regular events to educate visitors about the plant and its commercial possibilities.

Other groups like the Southeastern Cannabis Front [Frente Cannábico del Sureste] have stated that their mission is the identification, registration, and preservation of Mexican cannabis strains.

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