MONTEVIDEO – The sale of recreational marijuana at select pharmacies in Uruguay will begin July 19, the Cannabis Regulation and Control Institute (Ircca) announced on Friday.
Uruguay’s Congress voted in 2013 to legalize marijuana and then-President Jose Mujica signed the measure into law in January of that year.
Sixteen pharmacies have signed up to sell the two designated varieties of legal pot and the list of participating drug stores will be published next Wednesday, Ircca said.
The 4,711 people who have gone through the process of becoming registered users can choose between variants dubbed Alfa I and Beta I.
Montevideo, which is home to nearly half of Uruguay’s population, accounts for 60 percent of registered recreational marijuana users.
Seventy percent of users are male and the majority are between the ages of 30 and 40, while 30 percent are from the 18-29 age cohort, according to figures provided by Ircca.
Besides purchasing pot from drug stores, users have the option of applying for licenses to cultivate limited amounts of marijuana, whether as individuals or as members of “cannabis clubs.”
Part of the profits generated by the legal marijuana industry will go to Ircca to fund regulation and public campaigns to discourage drug use.