Updated on December 28, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
In 2012, Uruguay legalized the sale of recreational and medical cannabis. While the process posed challenges, the country had success in establishing its program. Whether you’re interested in marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, it’s essential to know the ins and outs of Uruguay’s program.
In Uruguay, the recreational and medical marijuana programs are integrated. Anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in growing or purchasing cannabis must register with the government. Commercial operations and growers’ clubs for cultivating marijuana require an additional license.
Pharmacies, instead of dispensaries, offer cannabis for sale. The government also regulates the sale, price and production of weed. If you grow your medical pot for personal use, for instance, you can only produce up to 480 grams. As of 2017, pharmacies must sell marijuana for $1.30 per gram.
Within South America, Uruguay is a more liberal country. Its approach to both recreational and medical marijuana demonstrates those views. Throughout the country’s entire history, it has never criminalized cannabis.
Back in 2012, the government legalized state-fixed sales of medical and recreational weed with the hope of decreasing drug-related crimes and providing citizens a safe, reliable resource for purchasing cannabis. That goal is one of the reasons why the price of marijuana at pharmacies is less than the average price on the street.
Uruguay maintains a strict set of standards for possessing and cultivating marijuana for personal or club use:
Public policies in Uruguay support the implementation of telemedicine. From 2011 to 2015, the country worked to build a telemedicine and e-health system. They also introduced optic fiber into patient’s homes to give them access to telehealth services.
While other countries may designate a set of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana recommendation, Uruguay does not. Talking with your doctor, however, is always recommended if you’re interested in using medical weed.
Whether you’re using marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, you must register with the Institution of Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA) by bringing the following documents to your local post office:
While the legalization of medical and recreational weed in Uruguay is relatively recent, here’s what we know so far:
As Uruguay’s recreational and medical marijuana program takes off, more statistics will be available.
Penalties for medical marijuana in Uruguay center on exceeding the government’s set amounts for possession and cultivation. Growing more plants than allowed or cultivating them without registering with the IRCCA could result in the loss of your plants and a fine.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we connect patients and doctors, in addition to offering the most up-to-date information on medical cannabis legislation, research and more. If you’re interested in learning more about medical weed in Uruguay and throughout the world, check out our blog and resource database!