Uruguayans registering to buy legal weed up almost 50% in a week

July 26, 2017

The number of people registering to buy newly legalized marijuana in Uruguay jumped by almost 50 percent in the first week of sales, according to official figures released Wednesday.

The small South American country is the first in the world to legalize pot from production to sale.

The drug is sold only to who have officially registered with a licensed , and with a monthly limit of 40 grams.

The Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA) said the number of registered applicants leapt from 4,959 last week to 7,343 this week, a 48 percent increase.

The spike in demand meant that the 16 pharmacies that have enrolled in the groundbreaking scheme have been forced to restock several times since sales began on July 19.

Many pharmacies had been unwilling to participate in the scheme because of concerns about security and doubts that the small market of registered users was worth the trouble.

Only two companies are authorized to produce for pharmacies—under military protection, and with no .

Walk-in sales at pharmacies are not allowed under the law, and only residents of Uruguay can register to buy pot—thereby preventing marijuana tourism.

The can also be grown by private citizens in conditions monitored by the authorities for compliance in the quantity and quality of the plants.

The system—the first time ever that a state has put itself in charge of the production and distribution of marijuana—is designed to undercut lucrative and illegal drugs trafficking.

Pharmacy sales are the last of three phases set out under the 2013 law.

Under the early phases, nearly 7,000 people registered to grow weed at home, and more than 60 smokers' clubs were authorized.

The marijuana is sold in five-gram packets and in two varieties with differing strengths of THC, the psychotropic constituent that gives users their high. It costs $1.30 per gram.

Explore further: Pharmacies in Uruguay to start selling pot next week

Related Stories

Pharmacies in Uruguay to start selling pot next week

July 14, 2017
Uruguay will allow pharmacies to sell marijuana starting next Wednesday, in the final phase of a law making the small South American country the first in the world to legalize and regulate pot from production to sale.

Uruguay pharmacies start selling marijuana (Update)

July 19, 2017
Pharmacies in Uruguay started selling marijuana Wednesday under a four-year-old law that has made the small South American country the first in the world to legalize pot from production to sale.

More than 500 sign up to buy legal cannabis in Uruguay

May 3, 2017
More than 500 people signed up to buy state-vetted cannabis in Uruguay on the first day of registration for the first such scheme in the world, authorities said Wednesday.

Uruguay to sign up smokers to buy state marijuana

July 6, 2016
Uruguay will this month start signing up smokers to buy marijuana from pharmacies in the world's first scheme for state-production and sale of the drug, an official source said Wednesday.

Uruguay to start selling marijuana in pharmacies

April 7, 2017
Uruguay will become the world's first country to allow recreational marijuana to be sold in pharmacies starting in July, the president's office said Thursday.

Uruguay to sign up users to buy cannabis in pharmacies

May 1, 2017
Uruguay, which in July will become the first country selling state-produced cannabis in pharmacies for recreational use, will open a user registry on Tuesday, authorities said.

Recommended for you

Postmenopausal women should still steer clear of HRT: task force

December 12, 2017
(HealthDay)—Yet again, the nation's leading authority on preventive medicine says postmenopausal women should avoid hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Will 'AI' be part of your health-care team?

December 12, 2017
(HealthDay)—Artificial intelligence is assuming a greater role in many walks of life, with research suggesting it may even help doctors diagnose disease.

State-level disclosure laws affect patients' eagerness to have their DNA tested

December 12, 2017
Different types of privacy laws in U.S. states produce markedly different effects on the willingness of patients to have genetic testing done, according to a new study co-authored by an MIT professor.

Babies born during famine have lower cognition in midlife

December 12, 2017
Hunger and malnutrition in infancy may lead to poor cognitive performance in midlife, according to a new study.

Full moon linked to increased risk of fatal motorcycle crashes

December 11, 2017
The full moon is associated with an increased risk of fatal motorcycle crashes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, finds a study in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

'Man flu' may be real

December 11, 2017
The much-debated phenomenon of "man flu" may have some basis in fact, suggests an article published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.