Recently, the former Mexican president, Vicente Fox Quesada, accepted his second board of directors position with prominent medical marijuana firm, Helix TCS Inc. (OTCQB:HLIX). In just over a decade, Fox has shifted 180 degrees on the controlled substance, and his advocacy is helping patients across Mexico and Latin America access life-improving medication.
As a leading figure in the cannabis deregulation industry, Fox’s name recognition across the America’s and his strong understanding of inter- and intra-country trading and politics make him a strategic advisor and advocate for emerging cannabis companies.
When questioned about marijuana deregulation in a speech in Salt Lake City, Utah last month he said, “This is a world trend and moving pretty fast . . . I don't know why some government leaders today think erroneously that trading is a zero gain . . . That is not true . . . by working together, we become very strong.”
His ascension to two company boards in an advisory capacity gives him, and the companies, the tools to establish that strength.
Who is Vicente Fox?
A 76-year-old businessman and politician, Fox served as Mexico’s president from 2000-2006. Born into a wealthy family, he made his name by working his way through the ranks at Coca-Cola in Mexico, eventually becoming the company’s President and CEO.
After leaving the company in 1976, he switched to politics, winning a governorship in Guanajuato and his home province in the southern half of Mexico. His political achievements mirrored his business success, helping Guanajuato become the fifth most prosperous municipality in Mexico by focusing on economic reformation and elimination of corruption.
His decision to run for president, and his eventual win, ended 71 years of one-party rule and compelled a country, most of whom live on $2 per day, to believe in a prosperous future for Mexico.
Back to business
During his presidency, Fox was better known as an advocate for the War on Drugs. Today, he acknowledges that prohibition has not worked for Mexico and, in an interview with Business Insider, said he sees a “paradigm shift” in relation to marijuana, which could end violence and create better health opportunities for Mexicans.
Putting his money where his mouth is, in 2018, his foundation, Centro Fox, along with major sponsor Khiron Life Sciences Corp. (TSXV:KHRN), hosted CannaMexico, a conference focusing on the potential benefits for the Mexican cannabis industry.
The partnership was successful and soon after Khiron announced that Fox agreed to join its board of directors as a brand ambassador and advisor on Mexican and Latin American markets.
Khiron CEO, Alvaro Torres praised the partnership in Khiron’s press release, “His appointment to our board . . . significantly expands our scope of influence and relationships within the Latin American market. Further, this appointment puts us in a strong position to expedite our expansion plans to other strategic markets, keeping with our goal of becoming the dominant regional medical cannabis company in Latin America.”
Spreading his influence across the industry
As a key figure in Latin American business during a time when Coca-Cola was expanding its influence across the region, Fox’s shift toward cannabis, one of the hottest emerging markets, follows a logical path.
He stated, “A new industry is being borne, with high ethical standards, attracting massive investments in medical and health products, bringing economic growth and jobs to communities and nations. I am proud to be a part of it.”
Fox has also warned of the potential of greed to infect the cannabis industry, which would undermine the foundation for legalization that seeks to uphold the individual rights of consumers and patients. If the industry becomes greedy, he says, “We will fail.”
His new-found advocacy for cannabis deregulation, business skills, and background in fighting corruption in Mexico demonstrates his capability to nurse the cannabis industry in Latin America to ethical and economic success.
Fox joins Helix
The announcement on February 25 that Vicente would be joining the board of directors at Helix, a seed-to-sale technology platform for cannabis businesses which focuses on security and compliance, further integrates Fox into the different levels of the Latin American cannabis market.
Just as Khiron sought strategic advantage in the Latin American market through Fox’s advice, Helix indicated in their press release, “His addition is a significant multiplier in our further expansion into key production markets that we expect to become dominant cannabis export hubs that will require our full suite of services."