420 Magazine Background

Uruguay Asks Potential Pot Investors To Step Forward

The General

New Member
Uruguay has taken a step closer to selling recreational pot through pharmacies. A government agency in charge of regulating the marijuana industry said Friday it plans to issue as many as five licenses to grow up to a total of 10 metric tons of weed a year. The South American farming country made history earlier this year when it became the first nation to take a shot at fully regulating the marijuana industry from seed to consumer in hopes of depriving drug traffickers of a key source of revenue. Only Uruguayan residents will be allowed to legally buy marijuana. Interested growers have until August 18 to submit their credentials and background information to Ircca, as the agency is known by its Spanish acronym.

Ircca will award five-year licenses to grow between one and two tons of pot a year for final sale in authorized pharmacies after it finishes writing the rules, the agency said in a statement posted Friday on its website. Government officials in May said they hoped to have the first legally grown marijuana on sale to registered users by the end of the year. However, that timeline could prove challenging due to delays in publishing the regulations backing the law. Officials at Ircca and the National Drugs Secretariat decline to comment.

World leaders and activists on both sides of the drug-legalization debate are closely watching Uruguayan President Jose "Pepe" Mujica's experiment with state oversight of marijuana for recreational, medical and industrial uses, such as rope, textiles and paper made from hemp. Uruguay hopes its ground breaking law will draw investment from pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms eager to unlock the medical secrets of cannabis in a country that grants them the legal security to carry out their research.

While scores of companies and investors have expressed their interest to the government, no big names have stepped out of the shadows. Uruguay isn't the only country on investors' radar screens. Pot regulation in U.S. states like Colorado and regulatory developments in Canada's medical marijuana industry have turned those countries into magnets for cannabis investment. Mr. Mujica and the governing left-wing coalition invested significant political capital to pass the marijuana law last year, even though nearly two-thirds of Uruguayans opposed the measure. The Mujica administration hopes the law will allow legal growers to corner a market estimated at between 18 and 22 tons of marijuana a year with a value of about $40 million. The law's critics say it will lead to greater pot consumption and, eventually, harder drugs.

Under the recreational pot rules that took effect earlier this month, Uruguayan residents 18 years or older can grow up to 480 grams, or 1.06 pounds, of pot a year for personal use either on their own or through marijuana clubs. Registered marijuana users can also buy up to 40 grams of pot a month–enough to make about 60 to 80 cigarettes–at pharmacies that are authorized to sell the drug. Ircca will set marijuana prices. Licensed growers will have to supply pharmacies about twice a month all year round from marijuana grown on land provided by the government in the department of San Jose west of the capital Montevideo, Ircca said. The agency will also provide growers with seeds.


News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Online.wsj.com
Author: Ken Parks
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Uruguay Asks Potential Pot Investors to Step Forward - WSJ
Top Bottom