Nationwide marijuana legalization in Uruguay is getting closer to becoming a reality. Although the country officially legalized cannabis last year in December, they have just recently started registering cannabis clubs in hopes of beginning sales as early as next year.
Under the country’s regulations, no minors under the age of 18 will be permitted to consume cannabis. For adults of legal age, they won’t be allowed to drive under the influence or smoke in public places. There will also be no advertisements marketing or promoting cannabis allowed in the country. The Institute for Control and Regulation of Cannabis (IRCCA) will oversee the entire program including planting, production, processing, distribution and sales.
According to reports, clubs will be allowed to have up to 45 members and grow up to 99 plants per year. Members will be allowed to grow up to 480 grams of cannabis annually. As of August, residents will also be permitted to grow their own marijuana in their private residence and may have up to six plants.
In order to qualify to open a cannabis club, applicants must register with the Ministry of Education and Culture, provide details including location, hours, intended crops, plans for distribution and identify a technical manager who will be responsible for making sure the club stays in compliance with regulations. Clubs must also make sure that the areas where they are cultivating cannabis aren’t within 150 meters of a school, college or drug rehabilitation center.
Residents interested in becoming members of a cannabis club or purchasing cannabis at pharmacies where the plant will also be available must become a part of the official national registry. Applicants must be natural or legal citizens of Uruguay and will only be able to buy 40 grams per month or 10 grams per week.
According to experts, there are about 150,000 cannabis estimated users in Uruguay.