Uruguay starts selling recreational marijuana

Cannabis will be available at pharmacies, although critics say selling locations are insufficient
Photo: EL PAÍS/GDA
19/07/2017
18:27
Montevideo
Tomer Urwicz – El País
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A thousand and thirty-seven days after the law was promulgated, marijuana sales began today in pharmacies in Uruguay. After this delay, the country takes the most innovative step in the regulatory process that began at the end of 2013: the commercialization of psychoactive cannabis for non-medical use.

Only 16 pharmacies have available marijuana stock, which leaves a good part of the population out; in areas of greater demand, such as Montevideo, the product may become scarce within a day.

In the capital, where 6 out of 10 registered users are gathered, there are four pharmacies that will sell the product in Ciudad Vieja, Cordón, Pocitos, and Malvín. That is, four premises in these neighborhoods must supply a demand that, up to July 16, was around 3 thousand buyers (the remaining 2 thousand are from the interior).

Each pharmacy can get up to 4,4 pounds (2 kilograms) of cannabis per month. And each buyer can buy up to 0,3 ounces (10 grams) per week.

The two companies licensed to cultivate have harvested 1.543 pounds (700 kilos) of marijuana.

NGOs are confident that "it will sell well and more people will register, which is important to continue displacing drug trafficking," said Diego Pieri, from Proderechos. The guarantee of quality, legality, and price (about $6,6 dollars for 0,17 ounces), allow us to stand strong against drug trafficking, said Pieri.

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