Uruguay helped transform the global debate surrounding cannabis law reform when the country just started to consider legalizing and regulating marijuana. After the country's legislative body passed President Mujica's plan to make the country the first in the world to end cannabis prohibition, the global debate was revolutionized yet another step. No longer was full legalization a theoretical concept, now such a law was a reality and countries around the world took real notice and it kick-started serious debates in countries across the globe.
Laura Blanco has been at the forefront of this political and cultural movement in Uruguay. She started the first cannabis cultivation club, the Association of Cannabis Studies in Uruguay, registering with the government to cultivate cannabis for its members.
From Bloomberg Businessweek:
Joining a growing club is one of three legal ways to obtain pot under the law.
Licensed buyers will be able to purchase up to 10 grams a week or 40 grams a month from a network of pharmacies that is expected to be functioning by late 2014 or early 2015.
Uruguayan citizens and legal residents 18 or older can also register to obtain licenses giving them the right to cultivate up to six marijuana plants per household and harvest 480 grams a year, or join a marijuana-growing club with between 15 and 45 members and no more than 99 plants.
Laura has also served as a member of the advisory board of the Uruguayan National Drugs Council, working to fully implement the groundbreaking cannabis regulation legislation. The implementation plan has called for tax-free cannabis for residents, an effort to bring consumers out of the unregulated, illicit market and into the licensed and regulated system.
Uruguay will exempt marijuana production and sales from taxes in a bid to ensure prices remain low enough to undercut competition from black market pot smuggled in from Paraguay, according to consultants advising the government on a legalization plan.
"The principal objective is not tax collection. Everything has to be geared toward undercutting the black market," said Felix Abadi, a contractor who is developing Uruguay's marijuana tax structure. "So we have to make sure the price is low."
Laura Blanco will be on hand at our conference this weekend to give attendees a first-hand account from the country making international waves by legalizing cannabis commerce. Please join us at the Oregon Convention Center, as we bring together entrepreneurs, activists and professionals from across the globe to provide an international cannabis conference like no other.