Uruguay inched closer to becoming the world’s first nation to offer over-the-counter cannabis at pharmacies, rolling out a registry for recreational marijuana users on Tuesday.
Those who wish to purchase state-produced pot from one of 16 drugstores around the tiny South American country, which borders Argentina and Brazil, must sign up to do so, as required by the controversial program, according to reports. The hassle, however, could be offset by the rock-bottom price of weed these pharmacies will begin offering in July — $1.30 a gram, a price set by Uruguay’s government. That’s about 90 percent less than what the average gram sells for at a marijuana dispensary in Oregon, one of eight states in the U.S. that has legalized recreational weed.
Uruguay garnered international attention when it first legalized recreational marijuana in 2013. The country already allows individuals to grow weed at home for personal use or join state-run cooperative clubs that farm the plant. The rollout of pharmacy-sold marijuana, which stalled several times due to opposition, will mark the final stage of the country’s pioneering program.
Now for a little buzzkill: Only Uruguayan citizens or permanent residents of the country will be allowed to register as recreational users. And each user will be limited to purchasing only 10 grams of weed a week.