01/07/2014 01:44 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Foreign Countries Want Uruguay To Export Weed


Foreign countries may soon be buying their weed from Uruguay.

Countries that permit the medicinal use of marijuana -- including Canada, Chile and Israel -- are looking to tiny Uruguay for supplies, following the South American country’s unprecedented legalization of the government sale of the soft drug, Uruguayan daily El Observador reports.

Both government representatives and private firms interested in research have contacted the Uruguayan government with interest in participating in Uruguay’s planned market for marijuana.

“While it wasn’t an objective of the law, Uruguay is becoming a biotechnology center,” Diego Canepa, a spokesman for the Uruguayan presidency, told El Observador. “It’s a field of enormous competition, but that’s also rapidly developing.”

It’s not just the legality of marijuana that makes Uruguay attractive, according to Spanish daily El País. Once the market opens, Uruguayan weed is supposed to be cheap.

Uruguay’s drug czar has said that marijuana will sell for $1 per gram, a policy meant to undermine drug traffickers by eliminating profit from the business. The 26,000 Canadians who use medicinal marijuana pay roughly $5 per gram, according to El País.

The law passed by Uruguay in December legalizes the government sale of marijuana to registered users who must be Uruguayan residents. The law also allows Uruguayans to grow marijuana at home or join collectives who grow marijuana for their personal use.

Despite the immediate interest from governments and businesses across the globe, exporting weed wasn’t part of the political debate leading up to the passage of the law. The law is silent on the subject of exportation, according to El Observador.



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