Pharmacies in Uruguay started selling marijuana Wednesday under a four-year-old law that has made the small South American country the first in the world to legalize pot from production to sale.
In all, 16 pharmacies have been authorized to sell marijuana under state controls, barely enough to cover a country of 3.5 million people. No major pharmacy chain has agreed to sell the drug.
Many pharmacies have been unwilling to participate in the scheme because of concerns about security and doubts that the small market of registered users is worth the trouble.
Only about 5,000 people, most of them age 30 to 44, have signed up as prospective buyers since Uruguay's state registry opened in early May.
Walk-in sales are not allowed under the law, and only residents of Uruguay can register to buy pot—thereby preventing marijuana tourism.
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