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[May 03, 2014]
Marijuana to be sold for less than $1 a gram in Uruguay
(EFE Ingles Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Montevideo, May 3 (EFE).- Marijuana will be sold at licensed Uruguayan pharmacies at a price of between 20-22 pesos ($0.87-$0.95) per gram, according to newly released regulations fleshing out last year's law legalizing the cultivation, distribution and marketing of the drug.
The president of the National Drug Board, Diego Canepa, said at a press conference that that price would cover the cost of production and allow growers to make a profit, adding that pharmacies selling the product would not be allowed to undercut one another.
The price was deliberately set below what marijuana sells for illegally, Canepa said, adding that the quality control of the drug available at pharmacies would be "very high." Pharmacies must not place the marijuana in public view nor advertise that they are selling it and they must safely store the drug, just as they do with prescription-only medications or other products intended for "controlled use." Canepa said pharmacies that want to sell the drug may start doing so in November or December.
The marijuana sold at pharmacies will be supplied by a maximum of six companies that are to be awarded contracts in a competitive bidding process.
Those companies will meet annual domestic demand of 22 tons of marijuana, the Uruguayan government says.
Consumers registered to buy marijuana at pharmacies may buy up to 40 grams of the drug per month.
Besides buying the product at a licensed pharmacy, marijuana consumers will also be able to access pot by growing it themselves or by belonging to 15-to-45-person cannabis clubs, although with an annual production limit of 480 grams for both individual growers and club members.
Last December, Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize cannabis. EFE amr/mc (c) 2014 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.
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