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A National Marijuana Marketplace

A National Marijuana Marketplace

Yesterday, December 10, 2013, Uruguay voted to create the first ever national marijuana marketplace.

Before you pack up and move to Uruguay, though, the model they will use requires all aspects of production, sales, and consumption to be overseen by the government. Many Latin American countries and other countries around the world will be watching Uruguay closely to see how they handle this model of legalization, and more may follow in their footsteps.

Under the new law, Uruguay will create a state-run Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis. This department will monitor marijuana planting, harvesting, and sales. Individuals who wish to purchase the drug will be required to enter a state registry, after which they can purchase up to 40 grams a month at pharmacies for $1 a gram.Registered households can also grow up to six plants each, and they can form cooperatives of up to 99 plants together. All of these growers will be required to register their plants with the government.

Two-thirds of Uruguayans actually oppose a government-run marijuana marketplace, but President Jose Mujica is convinced the government can repair some of the damage done by the global drug war.

As always, the new legislation has a number of critics and champions on both sides, but only time will tell the outcome of Uruguay’s model. They have 120 days, until mid-April, to draft regulations for state control over the market.

Another big day in cannabis history.

(Photo by Matilde Campodonico, AP)


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