From this Wednesday, 16 pharmacies throughout the South American country sell psychoactive cannabis for non-medical use. These are the keys to the last step in this Uruguayan project, a pioneer in the world.
Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the cultivation, production and sale of marijuana for recreational use.
From this Wednesday, 16 pharmacies throughout the South American country sell cannabis, culminating a process of 3 and a half years.
At the end of 2013, during the government of then President José “Pepe” Mujica, Parliament approved Law 19,172, which established the sale of psychoactive cannabis for non-medical use.
Previously, other points of the law had been implemented, such as approval of self-cultivation and cannabis clubs.
These are the keys to the last step in this Uruguayan project, a pioneer in the world.
- Who Can Buy?
To avoid tourism linked to marijuana, only Uruguayan citizens (legal or natural) who reside in the country can buy cannabis in pharmacies.
In addition, it is necessary to be over 18 years of age and to register in an official register in the National Post offices.
According to the Cannabis Regulation and Control Institute (IRCCA) of Uruguay, where 3.4 million people live, up to July 16, 4,959 people registered.
For a reference, there are 6,948 registered self-cultivators and 63 cannabis clubs, reports IRCCA.
People registered to buy marijuana in pharmacies can not integrate any of the other two categories.
Prior control of the fingerprint, the so-called “purchasers” can buy up to 40 grams of cannabis per month for personal use in the 16 pharmacies that have been adhered to so far.
- How Much Does It Cost?
- What you buy in pharmacies are “cannabis flowers – buds – packaged in their natural state, dried, not grinded or pressed,” IRCCA reports.
- Each package has 5 grams and has a price of US $ 6.5 set by the government.
- At the moment, two varieties are sold, called “Alfa I” and “Beta I”, which are hybrids of Indica and Sativa predominance respectively.
- According to IRCCA, both contain low to medium levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the natural active ingredient that produces the psychoactive effects.
- Who Produces It?
The marijuana sold in pharmacies is cultivated, packaged and distributed by two companies, Symbiosis and International Cannabis Corp, which won a public tender.
These have state authorization and, as such, pay taxes.
However, the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador reported that the State does not profit from this process other than for the operation of the IRCCA.
- Why Did You Adopt This Policy?
The idea behind the approval and implementation of Law 19,172 is, according to the government, to reduce drug trafficking and prevent Uruguayan people from inciting to use hard drugs.
“The problem is not drugs, it is men and women, and the social bonds that are generated, with a substance, with their peers and with society, that is the fundamental thing,” said the former Secretary General of the National Drug Board from Uruguay Milton Romani, to the Efe Agency.
Since Uruguay began to apply these public policies, other countries mainly in Latin America have begun to analyze and change their “prohibitionist” regulations regarding marijuana.