Communal landowners in Cuautla, Morelos, have become the first group of farmers in the state to openly grow marijuana as a legitimate agricultural crop.
One hundred marijuana plants have been planted in the Cuautlixco ejido (communal land area), and the group plans to cultivate a total of 500 plants, according to farmer and activist Isidrio Cisneros. More are planned in two other Morelos towns — Anenecuilco and Xalostoc, both in the municipality of Ayala, he said.
Cisneros says the plants in Cuautlixco will be used to produce medicinal products such as CBD oil.
The activist and the Cuautlixco ejido members are part of a statewide campaign to promote the legal planting of marijuana for sale in Morelos.
In August 2021, farmers from Tetecala, along with various marijuana legalization organizations, marched in front of the offices of the state health regulatory agency in Cuernavaca with marijuana plants in tow and joints in hand. The farmers requested a license to grow the crop, viewing it as a more lucrative alternative to sugar cane farming, their main crop.
Farmers from around the state and civil society organizations from Morelos and various states signed a document last fall called the Tetecala Plan that calls for liberalizing the production, sale and export of marijuana throughout the country.
The document was sent to President López Obrador but there has yet to be an official response to the group’s demands. However, the Morelos Human Rights Commission recently released a statement granting protection to farmers who grow marijuana in the state.
“There was a lot of misinformation about the openness to [marijuana] that has slowed its cultivation,” it said. “But bit by bit, [farmers] are realizing that the situation has changed and that there is more acceptance on the part of the government now.”