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Understanding Cannabis Laws in Uruguay


Uruguay allows for the recreational use of marijuana. Nevertheless, people need to understand what is legally permitted before purchasing seeds. What should one know before using cannabis in Uruguay?


The Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay


Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana. President Jose “Pepe” Mujica signed a bill permitting the use of marijuana in December 2013. In fact, the cannabis movement in the country is what prompted Canada to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2018. However, even though the law was passed several years ago, the public has yet to reap the benefits of this change.


The Brookings Institution investigated the matter in March 2018 and discovered the regulatory framework as it stood at that time wasn’t enough to overtake the illicit market in the country. So, the question is, what issues today are preventing a legal marijuana industry from taking hold in Uruguay and what’s the deal with buying weed seeds?

The Issues


Banks in the country continue to refuse to work with marijuana organizations. They are hesitant to do so as they worry financial institutions in America and other members of the United Nations will sanction them or refuse to do business with them completely as these countries still largely view cannabis as an illegal substance. Uruguayans should exercise caution when purchasing weed seeds, despite their legal status as adult novelty items.


At the time of writing this article, four years after the law was passed, only 17 of the 1,000 pharmacies operated by the Uruguayan government are offering cannabis to citizens. The pharmacies were pressured by the banks to not sell the substance so they could only do so on a cash basis. It was believed Canada’s legalization of cannabis would help to change the stigmatization of cannabis use, but that was not the case in the wake of the 2018 legalization.


The World Health Organization pushed to reclassify cannabis in 2019 while touting its medicinal benefits. This would be of great help to countries looking to legalize marijuana and make it easier for businesses in those countries that have already done so. However, Tabare Vazquez, the current president of Uruguay, is a doctor and feels marijuana is dangerous. Additionally, the National Police and the Ministry of Health haven’t been consistent with their terms or enforcement policies.


Who Can Purchase Cannabis in Uruguay?


Only citizens and permanent residents of Uruguay who are 18 years of age or older can buy cannabis under the current law. Tourists may not purchase this substance legally in the country. Furthermore, cannabis may only be obtained through pharmacies run by the government, and there is a limit on how much a person can purchase in a single month. Only 10 grams or .35 ounces may be purchased in a one-week period with a limit of 40 grams or 1.4 ounces per month.


Marijuana may not be used in indoor public spaces where the use of tobacco is already prohibited. In addition, no advertising or promotion of the substance may take place. To buy marijuana for recreational use, a person must register and choose from one of three legal supply options: growing cannabis at home; purchasing from a club; or purchasing the substance commercially.


When the substance was first legalized, most pharmacies opted not to offer cannabis. As a result, long lines would form at those pharmacies where marijuana could be obtained. This led to the government looking into designated dispensaries.


Growing Cannabis at Home


For those who choose to grow cannabis at home, limits have been put into place: a grower is restricted to six plants at home, and each plant cannot yield more than 480 grams or 17 ounces of cannabis per year.


For those who choose to take part in a cannabis growers club, laws have been placed regarding club membership. Each club is limited to 15 and 45 members. In addition, the number of plants grown must be proportional to the annual quota per member as established by the government.


Also, commercial growers are required to obtain state-issued licenses before producing and selling cannabis. A few companies did so as of March 2018, which led to a shortage in supply. However, in February 2018, officials started issuing applications for those wishing to grow and sell cannabis.


Each commercial grower approved by the government will be limited to producing a maximum of 2,000 kilograms of dried flower per year. This is the equivalent of 4,400 pounds. Other products are not currently permitted. Furthermore, growers are assigned 3 hectares of land owned by the government and the plants have to be grown indoors.


Other Important Information


Currently, the Ministry of Public Health regulates cannabis in Uruguay, doing so through the Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA). Lab testing is not required at this time.


Cannabis for Medical Use


People can easily obtain cannabis in Uruguay but may find accessing CBD and/or medical marijuana more challenging. Almost a quarter of patients using the substance for this purpose chose to purchase their product abroad. While a 2015 executive order put the IRCCA in charge of authorizing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana in monthly increments, only one CBD product was made available by prescription.


Synthetic cannabinoids and cannabinoid oral sprays aren’t easily accessed either and require a waiver from the Ministry of Public Health. In addition, prescriptions are only good for 30 days. Qualifying conditions aren’t set for the use of medical marijuana either, a circumstance that’s led to individuals looking for cannabis from alternate sources.


Weed Seeds Canada is a reliable source of cannabis seeds. If you wish to grow your own marijuana, our team is here to help. We can be of assistance in choosing the right product for your needs, delivering the seeds discreetly to your door, so the legal growing of cannabis can commence! Our sales team is available to help you create an order. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions or concerns, as we want you to be satisfied with your seeds.


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