11 JUly 2016
Lift Cannabis reports
Law enforcement data recently released by the government of Uruguay shows the amount of cannabis seized by police in the country to be on a significant upward trend, while arrests are down significantly. This is a reverse of a trend in 2015 that saw a significant increase in charges from the previous years.
The figures show just over 2521 kg of cannabis seized in all of 2015 vs over 2774 kg as of June 30, 2016. In 2015 2,554 people were detained and 1,233 processed. Only 914 people have so far been detained in 2016, with only 325 processed. Seizure of cannabis plants, which registered consumers are allowed to grow up to 6 flowering females, has remain about the same, with 624 seized in 2015 and 452 seized so far this year, while in 2013 (the year before cannabis legalization) 739 persons were indicted for drug-related crimes, in 2015 that number raised to 1233.
Uruguay legalized cannabis in 2013, and began issuing licenses for personal grows and collective grows in 2015. Retail sales in pharmacies are expected to begin later this year. While the official, legal system has been slow to start up, Uruguay’s black market has exploded after the passage of the 2013 law.
In February, the two companies, ICCorp and Simbiosys SA, announced they had began cultivation on outdoor farms. Simbiosys SA and Iccorp were 2 of 22 companies (including Tilray) that bid for licenses to produce for commercial sale. The government has said they expect sales in pharmacies no earlier than June 2016. No retail licenses have been announced. In late 2015, the government announced that 3 ‘traceable, genetically distinct strains’ will be available in pharmacies at some point in 2016.
Pharmacies who sell cannabis will be required to store up to two kg of cannabis in a lock box. Consumers are allowed to purchase up to 40 grams of cannabis a month (480 a year). The consumer registry will include a fingerprint that will be used to identify consumers at place of purchase. Cannabis will be sold in unmarked 10 gram bags, a one-week supply.
Recently, The Secretary General of the National Drug Board (JND), Milton Romani said that they expect pharmacies sales soon, but also said they are open to looking at other retail options in the future.
MJ Biz Daily have also reported
Few Uruguay Pharmacies Interested in Selling Rec Cannabis
Relatively few pharmacies in Uruguay are interested in selling recreational marijuana, even though it will soon be legal for them to do so.
So far, only 50 of the country’s roughly 1,200 pharmacies have registered to begin selling recreational cannabis in the coming weeks, the Associated Press reported.
The reason? They don’t want to be robbed or run afoul of the country’s black market dealers. That’s on top of the additional pain of paperwork, higher business costs, and general customer opposition to cannabis.