Uruguay Advances Marijuana Policy, Allows Legal Sales Through Pharmacies
Uruguay, a small country in South America, was the first to legalize marijuana sales in December 2013. With a population of over 3 million, the government was convinced that it was more safe to sell weed legally than to allow drug dealers to run the market.
Last month, the Uruguayan government opened the registry for pharmacists wishing to sell legal weed. Pharmacies wishing to sell cannabis will first need to implement fingerprint recognition software for their customers as well as install wall-mounted safes to protect the on-site marijuana stock, limited to two kilos per pharmacy.
Legal sales of marijuana at pharmacies are expected to begin later this year.
Consumers are already required to register with the government to purchase marijuana, and are only allowed to purchase 10 grams per week. Residents are allowed up to six personal plants at home and can grow larger quantities in “cannabis clubs” with groups of individuals for personal use, not for sales.
Large-scale cannabis producers must now receive licenses for private farming. Distribution of marijuana in Uruguay is regulated at a controlled price of about a dollar a gram.
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