Uruguay made news when it became the first country on the planet to legalize marijuana. When the policy change was announced, it was a very celebrated moment around the world. Uruguay seemed poised to be a world leader when it came to marijuana, with many people within Uruguay's government estimating that marijuana would eventually be sold for as low as $1 per gram. Unfortunately, the $1 grams have yet to become a reality.
But it does sound like marijuana sales, which have yet to occur, will begin next year. Two cultivators won licenses to produce the marijuana. Per Reuters:
Marijuana pioneer Uruguay said on Thursday it had granted licenses to two companies to grow the plant for commercial distribution, adding that the pot should go on sale in pharmacies next year.
The South American country was the world's first to legalize the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, aiming to wrest control of the trade from drug gangs while regulating and even taxing its consumption.
But the novelty of the endeavor has thrown up challenges preventing the government from meeting its own deadlines in implementing legislation passed nearly two years ago. The country originally planned to distribute licenses a year ago.
"Twenty-two proposals were presented ... and two licenses for production and distribution were given out," Juan Andrés Roballo, head of the National Drug Board, told a news conference.
I haven't heard any confirmations about how many total licenses will be distributed. I'd hope to see more than two companies generating all of the marijuana for an entire company. With that being said, this is a big step for Uruguay. I'm curious to see how much the grams end up selling for, and what the quality is like. We shall find all of that out (and more I'm sure) sometime in 2016.