Legal cannabis in Uruguay hits drug trafficking
This figure is taken from the last report of the Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis. The state seeks to increase production to meet all demand.
The Uruguayan government has caused losses of 22 million dollars to drug trafficking since the implementation of the law regulating cannabis of 2013, reported Wednesday the National Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (Ircca).
"It is estimated that the amount of money that has ceased to flow through the illegal market since the implementation of public policy exceeds 22 million," says the Ircca in the fifth report on the state of the market regulated cannabis at 30 November 2018.
The law on the regulation of cannabis, adopted in 2013 under the government of José Mujica (2010-2015), established three legal ways to obtain for non-medical purposes: local culture, membership or accession to clubs and registered pharmacies.
After his approval, Mujica said it was a "settlement" validating a reality that already existed under the noses of citizens, "in a street corner, in front of high school entrances".
The regulation, he added, was created with the intention of "appropriating a hitherto clandestine market and revealing it in the light of the day.
Growth and home membership clubs have been operational since 2014 and the third option, pharmacy sales, since 19 July 2017.
Ircca acknowledged that even distribution by sale in pharmacies does not cover existing demand. For this reason, the Institute has indicated that it is working on a new call to the producing companies for the 11 next February, while studying the new demands of pharmacies to become authorized outlets.
In November 2018, the number of people licensed to access marijuana in a regulated way by the three lanes increased by almost 10% from the figure from the previous September report, the report adds.
As of November 30, and after 17 months of joint operation of the three access routes, 41 376 people were allowed to have access to marijuana in a regulated manner.
Of these, 31 565 are registered as shoppers in pharmacies, 6 980 is registered with Ircca as a domestic producer and 2 831 is registered as a member of one of the existing 110 clubs.
Between the 19 July 2017 and the November 30 of last year, there was 383 280 pharmacy transactions, totaling 1 916 pounds sold.
Of this total, 61,5% was sold in licensed pharmacies in Montevideo and the remaining 38,5% in other 18 departments in the country, with an average daily sale of 5 961 grams (5,96 kg).