Uruguay became the world’s first country to legalize cannabis when pharmacies started selling the product last summer. Things have worked out well so far, the country’s top marijuana regulator said, although challenges remain as producers struggle to secure bank financing and the government grapples with supply shortages.
“We moved the frontier of what is possible,” Martin Rodriguez, director of Uruguay’s cannabis regulatory authority, said in Washington, D.C. during the launch of a report on the country’s experience with legalization.
“The model in Uruguay is different from other regions, but the objectives are similar,” Rodriguez said on Thursday during an event organized by the Brookings Institution and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). “This is better than the prohibition of cannabis for local populations.”
PHARMACIES AS DISPENSARIES
The country of 3.5 million allows cannabis to be sold at select pharmacieswithout a prescription as the country does not offer a separate system for medical marijuana users. Citizens of Uruguay — not tourists — s can purchase up to 40 grams per month at the pharmacies