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Licensed pharmacies in Uruguay will sell marihuana at a dollar a gram

Saturday, May 3rd 2014 - 06:30 UTC
Full article 29 comments
Diego Cánepa giving details of the rules that will apply to the bill Diego Cánepa giving details of the rules that will apply to the bill
However the sale in outlets will have to wait to December However the sale in outlets will have to wait to December

Uruguayan authorities have revealed how marijuana will be produced and sold legally in the country following the approval of the bill last December. Licensed pharmacies will sell the drug for approximately one US dollar a gram with consumers allowed 40g a month.

 The bill which comes into force next Tuesday, specifies that each household may grow up to six cannabis plants, and an annual production of 480 grams. Same restrictions that apply for tobacco and alcohol will be implemented for marijuana. Drivers caught “smoke-driving” will be subject to the same penalties as those under the influence of alcohol. The same applies to those caught smoking while on the job.

Pharmacies are not forced to sell cannabis and those interested must register. Each individual wanting to purchase the weed in those outlets must previously register (thus leaving non residents out) but at the moment of actually buying does not have to identify himself since this will be done through an electronic system. Purchases are in envelopes with a maximum of 10 grams.

The head of Uruguay's Drugs Board, Diego Canepa said the government expected to launch the licensing process for companies interested in growing the drug within the next 15 days. However this will be limited to a very few licenses (two to six) and each of them a hectare and a half, registered and controlled by government although cultivated by private 'farmers'.

“Towards the end of November, early December, the sale of marijuana will already be available in the country through pharmacies,” Mr Canepa said. The government estimates the current marijuana demand in Uruguay at between 18 and 22 tons, which would equate to about 10 hectares of cannabis plantations.

November is a crucial month since (October) presidential elections will be over by then and the very controversial issue should somehow lose its impact on national debate.

The bill is highly controversial in Uruguay with government arguing the bill will help tackle drug cartels, but critics say it will expose more people to drugs. A recent public opinion poll showed a majority of Uruguayans were against legalizing cannabis, but a significant percentage also admitted that the bill should be given a chance to see if it effectively works.

A recent UN report criticized the legalization of drugs, saying it posed a health danger.

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  • Troy Tempest

    “New Amsterdam”... oops, righttt, that name's taken already

    May 03rd, 2014 - 06:36 am 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    In my city cannabis sells for between A$280 - 300 per oz ( 28g ). When Colorado permitted legal purchases of the same outlets were charging up to US$400 per oz ( $185 for medical marijuana ). How the companies licensed to cultivate and sell the drug can make a profit, at a retail price of $1.00 per gram ( $28 per oz ), is beyond me.

    @1 Troy

    There are major differences between the Dutch and Uruguayan approaches.

    Namely: Cultivation, possession and the sale of cannabis is still illegal in the Netherlands, although possessing small amounts will rarely be prosecuted.

    Amsterdam's coffee shops would never accept such a low price - it simply wouldn't be worth their while.

    The sale of cannabis in Uruguay is intended exclusively for it's own citizens. When the authorities tried something similar in the Netherlands, the coffee shop owners, and other tourism-dependent business owners, vigorously ( and successfully ) resisted. 'Cannabis tourism' is a significant source of income for the tourism industry - 90% of cannabis coffee shop revenue comes from foreigners.

    The Uruguayan laws are much clearer and cut and dried, their intent much more specific. The Dutch laws are ambiguous and frequently not enforced, an accurate reflection of Dutch public opinion IMO.

    May 03rd, 2014 - 08:54 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    'Licensed pharmacies in Uruguay will sell marihuana at a dollar a gram'

    Does anybody know the present going rate for a gramme in Mercosur countries .. and the UK, for comparison?

    May 03rd, 2014 - 10:38 am 0
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