On May 2, 2017, Uruguay’s National Drug Board announced that it had opened its cannabis registry system, commencing the process of Uruguay registering adults for its recreational cannabis program and making the country the first in the world to have a government-run recreational program.
“Uruguay complies, in this way, with the public policy of regulating alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, in accordance with national and international exchange, which gives coherence to the regulatory framework,” said Juan Roballo, head of the National Drug Board, in a press release.
One must be a citizen of Uruguay, 18-years-old or older and registered with the government to participate in the country’s cannabis program.
During a press conference on the announcement, Roballo verified that 16 pharmacies have already joined the country’s program and that an additional 15 pharmacies are almost ready to sign their contracts to cement their participation in the program as well.
With Uruguay registering adults now, the country is still on track for pharmacies to start selling cannabis at the beginning of July, at which point each registered user will be allowed to purchase up to 40 grams of cannabis per month.
According to Diego Olivera, the secretary general of the National Drug Board, one gram will cost $1.30, with $0.90 of that going to the production company and the remainder being split between pharmacies and prevention programs run by the Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis.
In conjunction with the National Drug Board’s announcement, the IRCCA launched a mass media campaign to educate the public on the registration requirements, risks of consumption and tools to prevent abusive consumption.