Mexico is poised to become the world’s most-populous country with legal marijuana and hemp next month – and, unlike its northern neighbor, Mexico is setting nationwide regulations to cover all forms of cannabis, no matter the THC content, instead of having a patchwork of laws for the two plants.

That could potentially open more business opportunities in the cannabis industry, with the potential for Mexico to export and import from places worldwide where the plants are legal. Mexico does not currently allow hemp cultivation.

“The impact would be quite significant,” said Lisa Pittman, a longtime cannabis attorney at the Texas-based Coats Rose law firm.

“The other countries that have already legalized cannabis – Canada and Uruguay – have populations much smaller than Mexico, and Mexico already has quite a history of using cannabis and shipping cannabis across our borders.”

She added that the United States’ federal prohibition on marijuana – and, until recently, hemp – has presented “obstacles to banking and capital-raising and taxation.”

It could take years for Mexico to set up regulations for how hemp and marijuana business can grow and sell cannabis products. But some of Mexico’s biggest retail chains already are interested in carrying CBD beverages and topicals, hemp manufacturers in the U.S. say.