The Plaza Independencia in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

Legal cannabis sales are set to begin in Uruguay in July; more than four years after the South American nation fully legalized the cannabis trade, according to a BBC report. Under the laws, cannabis will be available only to citizens or permanent residents 18-and-older at pharmacies for $1.30 per gram. Although, the law also requires buyers to sign up with a national registry and they can only purchase 40 grams per month. The rules also permit home growers and cooperative clubs to cultivate up to 99 plants.

Presidential Aide Juan Andres Roballo said the registry would be up and running by May 2.

According to the report, the government currently has 16 pharmacies on board; however many pharmacists have doubted the financial benefits of selling cost-controlled cannabis. Some Uruguayans have also expressed privacy concerns over the national registry.

Roballo said there would be a public health campaign before the registry was launched and that the government’s state-supervised growers already do not have enough product to meet demand. He added that he does not believe there will be “an avalanche of users” signing up for the registry.

Uruguay legalized the cultivation and sale of cannabis in 2013 under former President José Mujica in an effort to combat homicides and crime rates associated with drug trafficking.

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