Uruguay Pushes Back Start Of Marijuana Sale In Pharmacies

URUGUAY:  Uruguay could start selling marijuana in pharmacies in March, the head of the National Drugs Board said on Wednesday, although the government had initially been aiming for year-end.

The South American country is the world’s first to permit the cultivation, distribution and use of marijuana, aiming to wrest control of the trade from drug gangs while at the same regulating and even taxing its consumption.

But a variety of hurdles are preventing the government from making its deadlines in implementing the measures passed into law last December. Even the plan to start selling marijuana in March, when President Jose Mujica leaves office, looks ambitious as the government is still tendering cultivation licenses.

“It will be at the end of this term, the start of the next,” Julio Calzada, the secretary general of the National Drugs Board, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.