A tiny South American country will become the world's first to sell marijuana at pharmacies

Uruguay adopted a revolutionary law in 2013 that fully legalized the production, sale and consumption of marijuana

© AFP/File Lars Hagberg


Montevideo (AFP) - Uruguay will become the first country in the world to allow recreational marijuana to be sold in pharmacies, starting in July, the president's office said Thursday.

The South American country adopted a revolutionary law in 2013 that fully legalized the production, sale and consumption of marijuana.

But the most innovative — and controversial — aspect of the law, pharmacy sales, had been on hold, with no clear timeline for when it would begin.

President Tabare Vazquez's administration put an end to the uncertainty.

"Cannabis will be dispensed in pharmacies starting in the month of July," presidential aide Juan Andres Roballo told a press conference.

Under the law, buyers must sign up for a national registry of marijuana users to ensure they have fulfilled licensing procedures and do not exceed the monthly maximum purchase of 40 grams (1.4 ounces).

The registry -- which is only open to Uruguayan citizens or permanent residents — will be up and running on May 2, Roballo said.

The marijuana sold in pharmacies is being grown in state-supervised fields.

Under the law, users also have the option to grow their own pot at home, or join cannabis clubs that grow it in cooperatives.

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