Uruguay Gears Up for Recreational Marijuana Sales

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

The first country to legalize adult use marijuana could begin sales as early as this summer.

The government of Uruguay took another step this month towards regulating its recreational cannabis market, opening its registry for pharmacists applying to sell marijuana legally, according to The Guardian. Legal sales are expected to start in the second half of this year.

Uruguay’s government legalized marijuana there in 2013. Under the program, there are two state-approved cultivators who will be allowed to grow three government approved strains of cannabis that will be sold through the nation’s pharmacies.

The small nation of 3.3 million people is expected to have a customer base of about 160,000 according to some estimates.

To be able to sell cannabis, pharmacies must have fingerprint recognition software to identify consumers, as well as wall-mounted safety boxes to protect the maximum two kilos of marijuana each pharmacy will be allowed to maintain in stock. The price is expected to be about $1 per gram, and consumers will be allowed to buy up to 10 grams per week.

Home growing is also allowed, up to six plants, while members of “cannabis clubs” are allowed to grow larger amounts, but not sell it.