Health Desk—August 9, 2017: Pharmacies in Uruguay have recently started selling marijuana under the final phase of a four-year-old law that made the small South American country the first in the world to legalize pot from production to sale.
Few weeks ago, the government of leftist President Tabare Vazquez announced the commercialisation of marijuana. Little information has been given, however, on the 16 pharmacies selected to start offering the drug to Uruguay’s 3.4 million residents.
The government didn’t work out deals with the big pharmacy chains that cover the country. Sales won’t be on a walk-in basis, however.
Under the legislation set by the state agency regulating the marijuana market, people have to register to buy pot in pharmacies. Only registered residents can do so — preventing drug tourism.
So far 4,959 people have signed on, most of them in the 30 to 44 age group, according to government figures.
The pharmacy sales form the last of three phases set out under the 2013 law.
Under the early phases of the 2013 law, more than 6,948 people have registered to grow weed at home, and 63 smokers’ clubs have been authorised.