HEMP flower for sale in Venezuela

HEMP flower for sale in Venezuela

Legislation History

Uruguay became the first country to allow recreational marijuana, when President Jose “Pepe”
Mujica signed the bill into law in December 2013 that legalized cannabis in the nation of 3.5

However, since the pioneering legislation was passed, the road to bringing it to the public has
been uneven and at times completely stalled.

In March 2018, the Brookings Institution studied the opportunities and challenges of legalization
in the South American country. The researchers found that the current regulatory framework
was insufficient to displace the illicit market.

Most Uruguayan banks, for instance, have refused to do business with marijuana organizations
fearing that they will be sanctioned or refused business from United States financial institutions
and United Nations members that classify marijuana as an illegal drug.

Even four years after the law was passed, only 17 of 1,000 government pharmacies offered
cannabis because of pressure from banks. Those that do must sell on a cash basis.

However, Canada’s legalization of recreational marijuana may pave the way for Uruguayan
banks and pharmacies to do business with its financial institutions. Efforts by the World Health
Organization to reclassify marijuana and acknowledge medicinal benefits are also hopeful signs
for the future of the legal cannabis industry in the country.

Political changes also have slowed availability. The current president, Tabaré Vázquez, is a
physician and considers marijuana to be dangerous. Also, the Ministry of Health and the
National Police have been uneven in their policies and enforcement.

Where is it Safe to Purchase and Consume?

Cannabis is available to Uruguayan citizens and permanent residents 18 and older. Cannabis is
not available for sale to tourists. Cannabis can be purchased only at government-run
pharmacies. Individuals can purchase up to 40 grams, or 1.4 ounces, per month; according to
subsequent regulations, the limit is 10 grams, or 0.35 ounces, per week..

Uruguay’s cannabis law forbids cannabis use in indoor public spaces where tobacco use is
prohibited. Uruguay prohibits any form of advertising or promotion.

Nonmedical users must register to buy marijuana and choose only one of the three legal forms
of cannabis supply: home growing, clubs, or commercial purchase.

When the law was passed, pharmacies were not required to sell cannabis and most chose not
to opt into the system, leading to long lines at the pharmacies that do provide marijuana.

The government is considering creating designated dispensaries.


Each Uruguayan citizen is allowed to grow up to six plants at home. These plants are not
allowed to yield more than 480 grams (17 ounces) of marijuana per year.

Cannabis growers clubs can have between 15 and 45 members, and grow a number of plants
proportional to the annual marijuana quota per member.

There are only two authorized commercially grown strains available with a THC cap of 9%.
Commercial growers must individually apply to be licensed by the state to produce and sell
cannabis. As of March 2018, there were only two such companies, leading to shortages in

Officials in February 2019 began issuing applications for producers to grow marijuana for
commercial purposes.

Approved growers will have an annual production quota of 2,000 kilograms, or 4,400 pounds, of
dried flower. No other products will be allowed. Each producer will be assigned about 3 hectares
of government-owned land and plants must be grown indoors.

Regulating Authority

The Ministry of Public Health through the Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis

Required Testing
Uruguay currently doesn’t require lab testing.
Medical Cannabis
While cannabis flower is readily available, the processes for approving CBD and cannabis for
medical uses has not been as smooth.

According to Cannabis Monitor Uruguay, 23% of medicinal marijuana patients purchase it from
abroad, Of those who buy in Uruguay, “half do so through self-cultivation (with and without
registration in the IRCCA) and the other half through supply by other people (growers,
producers of extracts, etc.).”

A 2015 executive order instructed the IRCCA to authorize physicians to prescribe cannabis in
monthly increments. However, only one CBD product, Epifractan, at 2% and 5% extracts, is
available by prescription They are imported in 10 millimeter vials.

Cannabinoid oral sprays or synthetic cannabinoids require specialized and restricted
prescriptions and waivers from the Ministry of Public Health to import them under a
“compassionate use” exception.

Prescriptions are valid for 30 days before a new prescription must be filled. During that period,
patients are not allowed to access any other form of legal cannabis.

Commercial producers in the country are working to create refined CBD oils and whole plant
extracts by the end of 2019.

Qualifying Conditions and Patient Rights

Uruguay has not set qualifying conditions, although it is recommended for a few uses, including
pain relief, cancer, seizures, epilepsy, and degenerative neurological diseases.


Hemp production

Uruguay has similarities to Australia from an agricultural point of view and weather conditions;
Uruguay latitudes are included within the latitudes of Australia, so in order not to limit the
productive potential of the country, it have set maximum limits for THC in plant similar to those
established by Australian legislation in order that industrial hemp cultivation in Uruguay can be

From an agricultural point of view there have been experimental crops in order to know the adaptability of the kind of industrial hemp to the conditions of our country. Since 2010 the
National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) has developed such research, having found
that industrial hemp is a crop suitable for our ecosystem, and that production levels achieved
were similar to those reported in countries with vast experience.

Hemp off- season seed production

Uruguay situated in the southern hemisphere, with four distinct seasons and soils that put us in
a privileged position opens to the world the possibility of hemp seed production off- season.

Uruguay has adequate regulations for off-season seed production in both the logistics structure,
traceability and institutional framework that guarantees the quality of seeds that are exported.

If we add that our country has today, human resources with technical capacity of excellence,
highlighting: agronomists with knowledge and vocation for agricultural production, assisted by
experienced paraprofessionals, with plants for processing and conditioning (drying and sorting )
seed with the latest technology comparable to the best in the world to achieve the best range of
quality seeds, and a clear and predictable regulatory framework, our country is placed in one of
the best options for the implementation of this activity generating opportunities to add value and
diversify business.


This week (July 19 2017), Uruguay became the first country in the world to introduce a
nationwide legally regulated retail market for the production and supply of cannabis for non-
medical use, and it intends to set a good example. The government’s plans are motivated by
concerns over insecurity and public safety, and are therefore aimed at reducing criminality and
violence by depriving organised crime groups of control of the cannabis market. Policy makers
do not want a free-for-all, so the market will be strictly regulated, with very limited commercial
involvement. Initially, just two companies will produce the cannabis, to sell through licensed
pharmacies, to registered over-18 Uruguayan residents – and all promotion is banned. There is
also scope for cultivation at home, and as part of non-profit cannabis social clubs, which also
avoid the pitfalls associated with a commercialised market.


In December 2013, Uruguay passed a bill to establish a legally regulated market for cannabis.1
It is the first national market of its kind anywhere in the world and has taken over two years to
become operational; while similar, state-level cannabis markets have been established in
several US states, no other country has legalised cannabis for both medical and non-medical
use nationwide.

The market being established in Uruguay differs from those in the US in other important ways.
The US reforms were the result of ballot measures approved by popular vote, but in Uruguay,
the government itself was the primary catalyst for change. In fact, according to a 2013 poll, only
a minority of Uruguayan citizens – 28% – support legalising cannabis for non-medical use
(although support for medical use is much higher). This figure did increase by around 4% once
the details of the government’s plans were publicised,2 and polling data from 2014 showed
support had increased to 33.6%.3

The government’s plans were motivated primarily by concerns about crime, insecurity and
public safety – its rationale being that a legal cannabis market will reclaim most of the trade from
organised crime groups and subsequently reduce rates of violence.4 An additional stated aim is
to separate the market for cannabis from the markets for riskier drugs such as powder cocaine
and ‘pasta base’, a form of smoked cocaine paste widely used in South America.5

Cautious regulation

Uruguay is taking a cautious approach in its attempt to achieve these goals. Policymakers are
clear that they do not want to create a “free-for-all”; they envisage a cannabis trade that is
strictly and responsibly regulated.6 The new market will therefore be relatively restrictive – at
least compared to the nascent markets in the US.7 22 companies bid for the right to cultivate
the cannabis that will supply the market, and in October 2015, the Uruguayan government
awarded cultivation licenses to two businesses.8 Retail sales of the drug will be managed by
licensed and regulated pharmacies only.

The task of regulating will be carried out by the newly established Institute for the Regulation
and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA), which will closely oversee all aspects of the market.

Uruguay situated in the southern hemisphere, with four distinct seasons and soils that put us in
a privileged position opens to the world the possibility of hemp seed production off- season.


Some of the details of Uruguay’s regulatory model are still being developed, but at this initial
stage, two types of herbal cannabis will be made legally available for purchase,9 with a
relatively low potency 2% THC (at 5 and 7% CBD) – other higher potency products will be
introduced at a later date. The cannabis will be sold in plain, unbranded packaging, and retail
prices will be set by the IRCCA at $6.50 for each five-gram (0.18oz) sealed packets, which is
just below current illicit-market rates (although prices will be higher for future higher-potency
varieties).10 Cannabis edibles or other cannabis-infused products will not be available for retail

Restricting consumption levels

The IRCCA will also maintain an anonymised national registry of cannabis users, in order to
track purchasing patterns and limit sales to 40 grams per user per month (10 grams per week).
5000 have registered so far. This is intended to moderate use and minimise the risk that legal
cannabis will be diverted for sale on the illegal market. Only Uruguayan citizens and residents
aged 18 or older will be accepted in the registry. At the point of sale, they will have to provide a
fingerprint scan to identify themselves as registered purchasers.

Throughout the market, Uruguay will enforce a ban on all forms of cannabis advertising,
promotion and sponsorship, a measure that is both politically and practically difficult in the US,
due to laws guaranteeing so-called “commercial free speech”.11 The possession of cannabis
has never been criminalised in Uruguay, and illicit cannabis has long been cheap and readily
available, so there is unlikely to be any significant impact on use from reduced user-level
deterrence or regulated supply.

The main identified risk has been commercial promotion. As the history of alcohol and tobacco
regulation has shown, when legal drugs are aggressively promoted by profit-seeking
businesses, public health concerns are invariably marginalised. Uruguay’s cannabis regulations
have been specifically designed to mitigate any potential health risks of over-commercialisation
following legalisation.12 Specifically, the marketing ban, combined with the limited involvement
of private companies and strict government oversight, should go some way toward preventing
market-led increases in cannabis consumption or the initiation of new users.

Medical, personal and social club cultivation and use

In addition to a regulated retail market, Uruguay’s new law includes provisions for three other
forms of legal cannabis supply. There will be a system to provide medical users with access to
the drug, as well as the option for any adult user to either cultivate cannabis in their own home
or join a club that will cultivate it on their behalf. Licensed home-growers can cultivate up to six
cannabis plants per household, with the cannabis clubs – which must have between 15 and 45
members – restricted to 99 plants. At the time of writing, over 4,500 people had registered as
home-growers and 14 cannabis clubs had been officially recognised.13 With both these forms
of supply, individual users can harvest no more than 480 grams of cannabis per year – the
same as the annual limit on retail sales.

A pioneering system

While some may argue that Uruguay’s cannabis regulations are unduly restrictive, it is worth
reiterating the context in which these reforms are taking place. This is the first ever nationwide
regulatory system for the production and supply of cannabis – and the government has been
under pressure from neighboughing countries around issues of cross-border transit of the newly
legal products. Given that the eyes of the world will be upon Uruguay as it rolls out its
pioneering system, proceeding with caution is probably wise. The system will therefore be
closely evaluated, and the government has pledged to keep it under review; wuith a view to
relaxing certain controls once bedded in.

The fact that Uruguay will regulate cannabis more strictly than alcohol and tobacco may strike
some as being unfair, especially in light of the relative health harms of the three drugs. But it is
perhaps more useful to view cannabis regulation as an opportunity to demonstrate best practice
in drug control. And by choosing to responsibly regulate what is, after all, still a risky substance,
it is clear that Uruguay intends to set a good example.