Legal marijuana, but Uruguayans still prefer black market


Legal marijuana, but Uruguayans still prefer black market

5 October 2022

By Andrea Figueras Ariso / Medical Express

Uruguay was a pioneer in the legalization of recreational cannabis use, a move that helped to push many drug traffickers out of the domestic market.

But a bland and insufficient state supply has meant most consumers still prefer the diversity of the black market.

In 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana use—which came into effect four years later—even permitting its sale in pharmacies.

There are three legal ways for registered users to get hold of marijuana: purchasing it at pharmacies, through home growing for personal use, and by belonging to an official cannabis-producing club.

The most sought after legal method is membership of one of the 249 consumer clubs, which offer a greater variety to their 7,166 members than pharmacies do.

But many clubs have long waiting lists to join as they are limited by law to between 15 and 45 members.