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Uruguay Will Begin Selling Recreational Cannabis at Pharmacies This Week

The government controls the production of weed, and only two strains will be available.

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In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to completely legalize the production, sale, and use of cannabis. Individuals are allowed to apply for licenses to grow their own marijuana, either on their own or as a part of a “cannabis club.” But unlike Amsterdam, the country does not allow smoking cafes or retail stores packed with a variety of edibles, oils, or other cannabis products popular in canna-legal U.S. states.

The Cannabis Regulation and Control Institute (Ircca) just announced that recreational pot will be available for sale at licensed pharmacies starting on July 19th. Sixteen pharmacies around the country will be selling two different government-grown strains of weed, known as Alfa I and Beta I. The legal cannabis comes packaged in 5-gram amounts and a security stamp that guarantees authenticity while warning about the effects of cannabis consumption.

Anyone wishing to purchase cannabis directly from a pharmacy must register with the government. Currently, 4,711 individuals have registered so far, and around 60% of all registered recreational cannabis users hail from Montevideo, which is home to half of the country's population. Seventy percent of these registered users are males between the ages of 30 and 40. Only thirty percent of registered cannabis users are aged 18-29, according to Ircca.