Uruguay Is First Country To Legally Sell Marijuana For Recreational Use And Prices Are Crazy
Imagine waltzing into your local Walgreens or CVS to purchase some Twix, some wet wipes for your bum, and a gallon of water. Weed is also on your shopping list, but on this day you aren’t buying your pot from two stoners hanging out in front of the store. Instead of strolling to the pharmacy to get your Valtrex prescription refilled (Usher knows what we’re talking about), you are going to purchase ganja at the pharmacy. Legally. This is the brave new world for the country of Uruguay today.
On Wednesday, pharmacies in Uruguay began selling cannabis directly to consumers. So far, 16 pharmacies will dispense marijuana and nearly 5,000 Uruguayans have signed up to a national registry to be able to buy weed legally. Officials state that 70% of people who registered were men, most of them aged between 30 and 44. There are restrictions on purchasing the cannabis though. To purchase weed you must register with the government’s newly founded Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA) and must be 18 or older. People will be able to buy up to 10g (0.35oz) a week and no more than 40g a month. The price has been set at the equivalent of $1.30 per gram. That’s a bargain. The money breaks down to 90 cents goes to the weed companies and the rest is split between the pharmacies and the government, which is said to use the money to fund prevention programs. I’m still trying to digest the $1.30 for a gram.
After their fingerprint recognition, customers will be able to select from two varieties of weed: Alpha 1 and Beta 1. Both contain 2% THC and are grown in state-supervised fields. The weed will be grown, packaged, and distributed by two state-approved companies: Symbiosis and Iccorp. The new law also allows citizens to grow their own cannabis at home or join co-operative clubs that farm it.
This is the final step in a law that was passed in 2013 which fully legalized the cannabis trade. The country believes that the new marijuana freedoms will help stop the illegal trade of marijuana, stomp out the black market for the drug, and raise money for the country through taxes.
Before you click out of this article to book your flight to Uruguay you should know that the purchase of weed is only available to citizens of Uruguay. Sorry, you won’t be getting a South American Amsterdam just yet.