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Uruguay initiates a state-controlled marijuana dispensary regime

By Pittaluga Abogados - 09/08/2017
Uruguay initiates a state-controlled marijuana dispensary regime

From China to Germany to the United States, what is happening in Uruguay since July 19 is a global main news: the country became the first one in the world to legally sell marijuana for recreational use across its entire territory.

The decision is established in Law Nº19.172 for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis, which was passed in 2013 by the government of then President José Mujica. The law authorized individuals to grow up a maximum of six cannabis plants annually at their homes, as well as the formation of marijuana clubs that can grow up a maximum of 99 cannabis plants annually. On July 19 the third and most known stage of the law was finally implemented: a marijuana dispensary regime controlled by a State cannabis regulatory institute (IRCA, by its Spanish acronym).

Consumers must sign up in a national registry and then buy the product on licensed pharmacies who check their identities before dispensing marijuana. Currently more than 6,000 people have signed up in the registry and 16 pharmacies (located in 11 of Uruguay´s 19 departments) are licensed to sell the product.

The marijuana comes from greenhouse crops developed under strict technical supervision by private companies authorized by the government. Customers can be able to choose from two varieties dubbed Alpha I and Beta I. Alpha I variety is a predominantly índica hybrid with medium to low Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content and high Cannabidiol (CBD) content. On average 2% and 7% each. The Beta I variety is a sativa predominance hybrid with medium to low THC content and high CBD content. On average 2% and 6% each. The product is dispensed in 5g (0.18oz) packs that cost 187 Uruguayan pesos, approximately 6 USD. Consumers can be able to buy up to 10g (0.35oz) a week and no more than 40g (1.41oz) a month.

"We are trying to see if there is an alternative way to fight drug trafficking", stated current President Tabaré Vázquez, who nevertheless has alerted the population to the risks of consumption, ratified by a public prevention campaign that is taking place in mass media, social networks and the education system.  

By Pittaluga Abogados - 09/08/2017
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Pittaluga Abogados, has initiated its professional practice 20 years ago, as an Intellectual Property Law Firm.

After some years providing a specialized and top level service for foreign clients, many of them among the world premier companies, Pittaluga Abogados obtained a recognized international prestige in said field, which convert it into one of the leaders Intellectual Property Law Firms in Uruguay.

Thus, today in P&A we take pride in emphasizing that our goal has always been and will continue being, to keep a personal relationship with our clients, considering at all times the priorities of our clients as our own, with the belief that each one of them is unique and irreplaceable.