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Uruguay

Cannabis clubs register in Uruguay —but backlash brews

Posted on November 4th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

UruguayUruguay started registering cannabis growers' clubs at the end of October. Under the plan, licensed clubs of up to 45 members will be allowed to grow a maximum of 99 plants annually, with  each club member permitted to produce up to 480 grams per year. This is an advance on the regulation approved in August, allowing personal cultivation of up to six plants. (BBC News, Oct. 31) And the private sector may get on board next. The government's Institute for Control and Regulation of Cannabis (IRCCA) reports that 22 private companies—10 of them foreign-based—have expressed interest in producing or distributing cannabis in the small South American nation. (TeleSUR, Aug. 28)

Uruguay releases cannabis sales regulations

Posted on May 3rd, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

UruguayAuthorities in Uruguay on May 2 released details on how cannabis will be produced and legally sold in the country, following President José Mujica's bold legalization initiative that passed in December. With the announced regulations, Uruguay becomes the first country in the world to have a system to oversee legal cannabis production, sale and consumption. Licensed pharmacies will sell the herb for less than $1 (up to 22 pesos, or $0.95) a gram, with consumers allowed up to 40 grams (1.4 oz.) a month, or 10 grams per week. Private households may grow up to six cannabis plants. While the new regs are to officially take effect this week, it will be several months before the full system is in place. Diego Canepa, chief of Uruguay's National Drug Junta (JND), said: "Towards the end of November, early December, the sale of marijuana will already be available in the country through pharmacies." He added that the government will launch the licensing process for companies seeking to cultivate cannabis within the next 15 days. The government estimates Uruguay's current cannabis demand at between 18 and 22 tons per year, which would mean approximately 10 hectares of plantations. An Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA) has been established to maintain standards for quality. Use of the herb will be allowed in most public spaces where tobacco smoking is permitted, althought not at workplaces. Motorists caught "smoke-driving" will be subject to the same penalties as those under the influence of alcohol. To discourage "marijuana tourism," only Uruguayan citizens and residents will be allowed to purchase cannabis. (Al Jazeera, AFP, La Nacion, Argentina, RTVE.es, May 3; BBC News, TeleSur, May 2)

UN report bashes legalization; Uruguay talks back

Posted on March 7th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

earthIn its newly released annual report, the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) on March 4 took aim at legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington states, urging the US federal government to ensure that anti-drug treaties are "fully implemented on the entirety of its territory." INCB president Raymond Yans said the Colorado and Washington laws "contravene the provisions of the drug control conventions, which limit the use of cannabis to medical and scientific use only." Also singling out the new legalization policy in Uruguay, he added that such initiatives pose "a very grave danger to public health and wellbeing." (BBC News, The Guardian, March 4)

Uruguay to releive Israel's cannabis drought?

Posted on February 4th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Middle EastUruguay is still developing its nascent cannabis economy following the Christmas Eve signing of the new legalization law, but its leaders have already broached international exports. Diego Cánepa, media spokesman for President José Mujica, said that while development of the domestic market is the priority, representatives from countries including Israel, Canada and Chile have contacted Uruguay to inquire on importing prospects.  "It was not the law’s intention to regulate international trade of marijuana, but Uruguay is open and enthusiastic at the possibility," said Cánepa to Montevideo newspaper La Red 21 in comments picked up by International Business Times. Several private companies have even expressed interest in opening cannabis laboratories in Uruguay, he said. "It would be a challenge, if labs were to open installations in Uruguay," admitted Cánepa. "It goes beyond what the law previewed, but it would turn Uruguay into a biotechnology center. That is a huge step forward."

Southern Cone neighbors react to Uruguay legalization

Posted on December 30th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Southern ConePresident José Mujica signed Uruguay's cannabis legalization bill into law on Christmas Eve, and the country's neighbors are preparing for the new policy to take effect—apparently with more trepidation than hope. Mujica is said to have discussed the question with Brazil's center-left President Dilma Rousseff on his visit last month to Brasília. Local media reported that she expressed fears about Uruguayan herb entering Brazil, and announced plans to beef up searches at the border—with plans to impose stiff sentences of 10 years and up for trafficking (including "transnational" personal possession).

Uruguay prez signs cannabis legalization bill

Posted on December 26th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Southern ConeUruguayan President José Mujica on Dec. 24 signed into law his plan to oversee the production and sale of cannabis in the Southern Cone country. The Uruguayan Senate passed the measure to legalize production, sale and consumption of the herb earlier this month. The law makes Uruguay the first country to have a system to regulate cannabis production and sale; use of cannabis was already legal in Uruguay. The bill allows individuals over 18 to grow up to six of their own plants per person, creates state-supervised and controlled consumer clubs, and permits consumers to buy up to 40 grams per month from pharmacies. Uruguay's government has four months to draw up regulations for the program, such as how production licenses will be granted. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the UN body overseeing the implementation of international drug treaties, has criticized Uruguay's legislation as being illegal (PDF) under international treaties. (Jurist, AP, Dec. 25)

Uruguay lawmakers vote up cannabis legalization

Posted on August 1st, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Southern ConeUruguay’s lower house July 31 approved a bill to legalize cannabis, by a vote of 50 to 46. The bill now goes to the Senate, where lawmakers have assured President José Mujica they have a majority to approve it. Mujica's administration introduced the bill, and his signature is not in doubt. Laura Blanco, president of Uruguay's Cannabis Studies Association said the bill sent an "encouraging" sign to other Latin American nations.  Under the law, citizens will be allowed to  cultivate cannabis in their homes, limited to six plants per household. They would also be permitted to form cooperatives allowed to grow 99 plants. In addition, private companies can produce under the bill, their harvests to be bought by the government for resale to licensed pharmacies. To buy in pharmacies, citizens must submit their names into a  confidential federal registry, and are limited to buying 40 grams per month. In a move to prevent cannabis tourism, the legislation restricts legal purchases to Uruguayans.

Uruguay unveils plan for state-controlled cannabis sales

Posted on June 21st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

The administration of Uruguay's President José Mujica announced June 20 plans to establish an unprecedented system of government-controlled legal cannabis sales, saying that a bill will be submitted to Congress to approve the program. Under the plan, the government would maintain a monopoly on legal cannabis sales to registered users who would be allotted a fixed quantity per month. The government would assure standards for quality. Minister of Defense Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro told reporters in Montevideo that the measure aims to undercut criminal networks that currently control the marijuana trade. "We're shifting toward a stricter state control of the distribution and production of this drug," Fernández said. "We think its prohibition is creating more problems to society than the drug itself."  (Notimex, June 21; InfoBaeAP, June 20)

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