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An Overview Of Marijuana Laws In Uruguay – The First Country To Legalize Weed

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Uruguay

 

One of the various countries that legalized marijuana, is now Uruguay. The marijuana legislation in the South American country allows the use of recreational cannabis. Back in December 2013, Uruguay successfully became the first country to authorize marijuana. The country with a total population of over 3.5 million at the time, released the Uruguay legal cannabis movement which was an incredibly pioneering effort for the legalization. Moreover, this laid the foundation for Canada to follow the footsteps of Uruguay, and become the second country to legalize marijuana in 2018.

However, with the legalization, followed multiple hurdles. Although groundbreaking, after the legislation was passed, the path towards the execution to the general public, was unsteady and was even abruptly paused at many times. The Brookings Institution, in March 2018, examined the challenges and opportunities of the legalization in Uruguay. Ultimately, the researchers discovered the threat of the illegal market. They believed that the framework of the current regulation was insufficient to completely replace and end the illegal market.

The majority of the banks in Uruguay denied the exploration of any business with marijuana organizations in the fear of refusal for prospective businesses emerging from the United Nations members, and the financial institutions in the United States, due to their classification of marijuana as an illegal drug. Four years after the law was passed, in 2017, only 17 out of the 1,000 government pharmacies were offering cannabis, owing to the significant pressure from the banks. Moreover, those 1 pharmacies sold cannabis on a cash basis to avoid any bank transactions or association.

Marijuana consumption in Uruguay

The World Health Organization’s efforts to reclassify marijuana and also acknowledge the medicinal advantages of the plant show great promise of a legal cannabis industry in many countries. However, the National Police and the Ministry f Health have been indecisive over the policies and their enforcement.

According to the Uruguay drug laws, cannabis availability to the citizens and permanent residents of Uruguay, 18 and older, is permitted. However, tourists are not granted permission. Cannabis is legally allowed to be purchased only from pharmacies managed under the government. Any eligible individual may purchase up to 1.4 ounces, or 40 grams, per month.

Moreover, the cannabis laws of Uruguay strictly forbid any use of cannabis in indoor public spaces where tobacco use is not allowed. Any promotion or advertising is also forbidden. Non-medical (recreational users) are instructed to purchase marijuana from one of the 3 legalized forms of cannabis available

  • Home-grown
  • Commercial purchase
  • Clubs

After the passing of the law, pharmacies were not initially required to sell cannabis and were given the option to not be involved in the cannabis industry. This initiated more popularity for the few pharmacies that actually do sell marijuana. The government is creating dispensaries designated with a specific form of cannabis.

Cultivation

According to the marijuana law of Uruguay, each citizen is granted permission to cultivate to 6 plants at home. However, the yield was legally limited to 17 ounces (480 grams) of marijuana yearly. Cannabis grower clubs were allowed to have a minimum of 15 workers and a maximum of 45 members. Moreover, they were legally allowed to grow an increasing number of plants, proportional to the marijuana quota (annual) per member. The only 2 commercially grown cannabis strains authorized by the government, both have a 9% THC cap. Commercial growers are instructed o apply individually for the state license for the legal production and sale of cannabis. Up until March 2018, only 2 companies were given the state license, which led to a shortage in supply.

In February 2019, officials began the issuance of applications to authorize producers to legally grow commercial marijuana. The authorized growers would have a production quota of 4400 pounds, or 2000 kilograms, annually, of dried flower. No other products were allowed. Furthermore, every producer would be given 3 hectares of land owned by the government) with the plants grown indoors.

Authorization and testing

The Ministry of Public Health is the regulating authority through the Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA). Currently, no lab testing is required in Uruguay. While the cannabis flower’s availability is legalized, the procedures for the approval of CBD and medical cannabis have had their hurdles. The Cannabis Monitor Uruguay states that 23% of medical cannabis patients, have purchased it from out of Uruguay. However, the ones who do avail of medical cannabis from within the country, have done so either

  • with the means of self-cultivation (either with or without any registration in the IRCCA) or
  • through the supply given by other individuals, such as producers of extracts, growers, etc.)

An executive order in 2015,  directed the IRCCA to legally authorize the medical physicians to only prescribe cannabis in monthly dosages. However, there was the availability of only 1 CBD product, i.e Epifractan, by prescription. It is at either, 2% or 5% extracts, and are imported into the country in 10-millimeter vials.

Synthetic cannabinoids or the cannabinoid oral sprays need prescriptions with restrictions and specifications, directly issued from the Ministry of Public Health, to qualify them for an exception. The validity of the prescriptions is 30 days before a new one would need to be issued. During the period of 30 days, the patients are not permitted to access other forms of legalized cannabis.

The benefits of legalization

3 years after the successful legalization of recreational cannabis, the former president of the country’s national drug agency, Diego Olivera, considered it to be a “tangible” success. Amidst the legalization, the opponents predicted numerous calamities, none of which occurred. Some of the advantages of legalization included

  • The consumption of marijuana among teens in high school did not drastically increase.
  • The perception regarding the risks associated with marijuana, which was a primary worry for opponents, maintained stability among adolescents.
  • There was an increase in the consumption of marijuana among adults. However, the rate of consumption was typically similar to the rate before the elections.

However, according to Olivera, there was no deterioration in the public health indicators, which would be a red flag suggesting the reversal of the legalization. The legalization in Uruguay proved to be a positive step towards the cannabis industry and laid the foundation for cannabis legalizations in other countries and states. While medical cannabis and recreational cannabis have their own advantages, positive ongoing research urges more countries to reconsider the illegality of cannabis.

 

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Four Tips to Secure Cannabis Dispensaries in Oregon Today

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cannabis dispensaries with grilles

Since the chain of cannabis crime is being beaded at a much faster rate in Portland, Oregano, there is a dire need to enhance the security measures. Robbery of a cannabis dispensary is as money-spinning as of a bank. Until an act is passed to allow the transactions, cannabis dispensaries remain the prime target of a robbery as all dealings continued to be done in cash.

Tips to Fortify Cannabis Dispensaries Security

The recent report by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission showed almost 120 robberies since march 2020  in Portland Metro alone. It resulted in a total loss of $500,000 in terms of both products and cash. To strengthen the security around the dispensary in a quick and easy way, a key step is to install rolling doors to keep criminal activities at bay.

Tip #1 – Tight Security Measures at Storefront

One of the most popular yet helpful ideas to prevent looting is to install heavy-duty steel doors, which can help add an extra layer of protection for the cannabis business. The plus point is that the manufacturer can directly mount it into the already existing buildings exteriorly. Also, these are significantly helpful in protecting the glass windows, which can be expensive to replace.

What’s more, it can block the view of the thieves to the merchandise. These are different from the other standard rolling grills. With these, the criminals won’t be able to see the stockware when the door is closed. Some of the dispensaries have tested their door against the Department of Defense to assure that even no violent attack can harm them. These doors are lift- and pry-resistant.

Tip #2 – Need of Visibility and Ventilation

If the cannabis dispensary owner wants to let the outside world see their merchandise, there is a need for more robust security. With compact impact glass and a heavy-duty grille, it is possible to stay away from the world’s sight when needed.

Easy custom orders and installation makes it an excellent choice to adhere to the security demands. Heavy-duty grilles that have rods closely spaced and strong interconnections are difficult to lift and attack than the standard grilles.

ALSO READ: First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens- Wait over for Missourians

The rolling grilles become even a much better option to protect the counters in the cannabis dispensaries. There is no need to do any modifications to adjust it behind the glass door. It can be easily installed in small places where the ceiling is low.

Tip #3 – Separating Cannabis Dispensary from the Store

Cannabis dispensaries in the high-end stores need extra protection, and thus, important to separate them from the rest of the shop. Cannabis dispensary separated from the rest of the shop can have different operational hours like some states have specifically specified.

The mesh metal grilles look much better and significantly affect the aesthetics of the store. It can deliver both beauty and security while customers can easily view the cannabis products of the store. There are manufacturers who are even designing logos on the grilles to give aesthetic pleasure.

Tip #4 – Secure Delivery to and from Cannabis Dispensaries

The cannabis dispensary owners usually tend to forget about secure deliveries that are most prone to attacks. Deliveries being made at the store back and the receiving areas are usually the areas of concern. It is extremely important to track down the time of delivery, people present there, and the stock delivered.

ALSO READ: Cannabis Home Delivery Services Likely to commence in Massachusetts

The heavy-duty service rolling doors provide exceptional security than those traditional sectional rolling doors. They are made to meet the demands of beauty and security, both as they are highly customizable and can be easily adjusted to limited spaces. They offer the idea of security by using stainless steel, galvanized steel, and aluminum in the grilles.

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Impaired Driving: A Must Consideration for the State’s Cannabis Bill

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impaired driving in New York

Even with the concept of Vision Zero and more raising concerns for the traffic rules, Albany legislators aren’t focused on it, while rushing to legalize the use of cannabis in New York. Silive shares the thoughts of how important it is to slow down the process of legalization and first pass on a bill that would stop impaired driving and hold marijuana-impaired drivers accountable for accidents.

Before the legalization of marijuana, to create a safer environment, it is extremely important to put pressure on the notion that studies categorize all intoxicating substances as unsafe for driving.

Impaired Driving Same as a Speeding Ticket

No consideration against the impaired driving would make people think it unimportant as a speeding ticket. This indirect message by the leaders would eventually lead to a greater number of casualties with each passing day.

It is nothing but a truth that marijuana has the potency to affect concentration, response time, motor function, and movement. Also, the science links a high concentration of THC in the blood due to cannabis intake to impaired driving. Surprisingly, marijuana is a second substance that has a major influence on driving capability after alcohol.

Need to Reinforce the Drug Definition in New York

Apart from considering classifying impaired driving due to marijuana as a minor criminal act, some light should also be shed on revising the term drug as other 45 states have done. Any substance should be called a drug that can compromise the ability to think, focus, and react.

ALSO READ: Marijuana Legalization And Decriminalization Bills Delayed By Murphy 

If this act is not taken, according to the law, they cannot be charged if the alleged impaired drivers refuse to have a chemical test. The dismissal would eventually result in chaos and poor law enforcement. Such impaired drivers could not be held accountable and would be back on the roads again, risking the lives of hundreds of people.

The legislators of Albany must think about the message they are conveying to the younger generation out there. Already, as shown by the personal accounts of many teenagers, marijuana is nothing big for them and seems harmless.

Different treatment for impaired drivers than those drunken drivers would further strengthen this perception among people. Since neighboring states have already legalized marijuana for recreational and other purposes, New York seems to be next.

Strict Laws and More Investment in the Traffic Sector

Along with the modifications in the law to serve a better criminal justice system, there is a need to pass on better provisions to ensure safety on roads. No person should become a target of  people managing a 3,00 pounds vehicle while being impaired by marijuana, asserts the source.

ALSO READ: Denver’s Cannabis Ordinance Will Jeopardize Hard Earned Public Health And Safety

There should be provisions in the law to hold such people against the criminal act. To run a smooth traffic system, it is mandatory to design out complete traffic safety rules. There should be more people, funding, and resources to train the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officers and create awareness of the possible effects of drug abuse, including marijuana. As time has changed, the use of synthetic drugs has made it difficult to articulate a specific one; thus, the need for DRE officers has become as important as the need to include the provisions in the bill.

The legalization in New York for cannabis should be set straight from the start. Before the bill includes and assures safety on roads, the legalization of recreational cannabis is a non-starter. All the roads

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Cannabis Sales Reaches Skies, Set Highest Mark With $17.5 Billion Sales

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Cannabis Industry On Rise

The novel coronavirus has been devastating for most industries. For some industries, however, it was bliss. Concerning cannabis, 2020 was a breakout year. Across the United States, 15 states granted permission for adult use, while 35 states allowed medicinal use of cannabis. According to a recent  report by Forbes, there was a 46% incline in cannabis sales and use in comparison to 2019, with a budget of $17.5 billion.

Cannabis Sales Increase In Different States

Generation of sales or profit occurs from both medical and adult-use of cannabis. However, recreational or adult-use generates the highest portion of sales, especially in markets like the Colorado marijuana market. In Colorado, the sale of marijuana increased by 26 percent resulting in business involving $2.2 billion. 

According to BDSA, an improvement in sales of Oregon occur by 29 percent from 2019. Moreover, the Oregon market makes a business of $1.1 billion. The cannabis market in Illinois is under progress and development. Yet, it was able to achieve the highest sales in 2020. 

ALSO READ: Know Doctors Recommended Marijuana Tips

Moreover, during 2020 Illinois marijuana industry expanded from medical use to adult use. As a result of legalizing adult-use, an increase of $784 million occurs in sales. Besides, now Illinois is doing sales of over $1 billion in its marijuana market.

Sales in California and Florida also increased. $ 586 million increase in sales of marijuana in the California market occurs, a total of about $3.5 billion business is happening in it. Moreover, the rise of $473 million occurs in the Florida marijuana market. 

What causes The Rise In the Economy Of the Marijuana Industry And Market?

According to BDSA’s insights and analytics department, the cannabis industry is recession-proof and continues to progress. Moreover, it has the most potential of evolving and flourishing. 

According to Kelly Nielsen, the rise in the marijuana industry was due to three reasons. Firstly, during the coronavirus pandemic, dispensaries were major-businesses, and many individuals built their own. 

Secondly, more devoted customers enter big markets like California, Colorado, and Oregon. Third, multiple states legalize the use of cannabis for both medical and adult use. As a result, the overall sale of marijuana products increased remarkably in the previous year. 

Moreover, another major factor is that individuals have begun to consume cannabis in larger amounts. Furthermore, more and more people are now involved in marijuana consumption.

Cannabis users agree that their consumption of cannabis has increased by 25 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the demand for cannabis in legal markets has risen since legalization. According to Nielsen, alcohol penetration is 60 percent, while marijuana penetration is 50 percent.

Cannabis Industry Achieves Mega Sales Hits

Urban Leaf co-founder Josh Bubeck states that 2020 has been a tough year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Urban Leaf was able to enhance the market penetration of its cannabis products from 37% to 39%. Moreover, according to Bubeck, the company had its best sales during the last week.

Cannabis companies that have dispensaries at the places of tourists’ attraction suffer the most losses. Similarly, Urban Leaf‘s flagship location near Sea World suffered the biggest-drop. 

ALSO READ: Massachusetts To Enjoy Marijuana-Infused Seltzers

The legalization of marijuana enables doing business legally and prohibits doing illegal activities. As a result, legal-activities rise, and the pressure of high demand in legal setup rises. Similarly, the closing of illegal dispensaries moves more individuals towards legal dispensaries, leading to a further rise in sales. 

Like other cannabis companies, Sava also gets involved deeply in the market. Moreover, according to the founder of Sava, the company observes 60% more growth in their sales during 2020.

According to Andrea Brooks, people are getting comfortable with new legalization and decriminalization policies. Moreover, as people are getting-used-to cannabis policies, the demand for cannabis products is rising, and so are its sales. Despite large profits and sales during the pandemic, no marijuana industrialists want to relive the stressful 2020. 

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