Arab Today, arab today pot economy thrives in uruguay
Last Updated : GMT 21:35:56
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Pot economy thrives in Uruguay

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Pot economy thrives in Uruguay

Participants smoke marijuana
Montevideo - AFP

Working at a decidedly un-slackerly pace, employees are racing to get ready for the opening of the latest marijuana boutique to sprout up in pot-friendly Uruguay.

About 20 such stores have opened for business in Montevideo, the capital, in the past year and a half, since Uruguay became the first country in the world to not only legalize marijuana but create a regulated market for it.

"This is just the beginning. The market is wide open to everyone," said 34-year-old Marcelo Cabrera, one of the business partners behind the latest grow shop, Tu Jardin (Your Garden).

The landmark marijuana law passed in December 2013 under former president Jose Mujica, a folksy iconoclast known for living in a run-down farmhouse and giving most of his salary to charity.

Under the law, Uruguayan citizens and residents can buy up to 40 grams (1.4 ounces) of weed a month from pharmacies, grow it themselves at home or join cannabis clubs where members pitch in to garden the plants together.

Before the legislation took effect in April last year, Juan Vaz planted marijuana illegally. Today he is paid to do it and manages a local growers' club.

"Many people don't buy on the black market anymore. They plant at home or in a cannabis club. So part of the money that went to drug trafficking before is now going to the community, creating new jobs," he said.

- Weed of the year -

The law still leaves some gray areas.

One of them is the selling of seeds -- not prohibited, but not regulated either.

That has resulted in a sort of legal limbo.

"You can import them if they were not illegally exported elsewhere," said Laura Blanco, president of the Cannabis Studies Association (AECU).

Pharmacy sales, the most controversial part of the law, have yet to begin -- and it is unclear whether they will any time soon under the new president, Tabare Vazquez, a cancer doctor who has openly criticized the policy.

But that just means more business for the grow shops.

There are currently some 20,000 home growers in Uruguay, and 15 cannabis clubs authorized to cultivate up to 99 plants each, according to the AECU.

"Business is booming. Tourists come looking for souvenirs, and locals come to buy everything you need to grow it and smoke it," said another young weed entrepreneur, 29-year-old Enrique Tubino, co-founder of marijuana boutique Yuyo Brothers.

The first grow shop, Urugrow, has seen a keen pack of competitors emerge.

Co-owner Manuel Varel, 26, says his biggest investment has been in advertising, "to maintain our market presence while competition increases."

Stores like Yuyo Brothers, which started out selling marijuana paraphernalia in 2002, have dived into the do-it-yourself marijuana gardening business, too.

"Legalization has turned us into farmers," joked a comedian at the Cannabis Cup, a competition for the best marijuana of the year, which drew 1,200 attendees on July 19.

- Chasing green gold -

The young entrepreneurs of the grow shop boom are reluctant to talk sales numbers or profits.

"The margins are small," admitted Cabrera of Your Garden.

Beyond small business, the most ambitious investors are researching how to take advantage of the non-psychotropic elements of hemp, useful for producing biofuels, textiles, food and cosmetics.

Brazilian entrepreneur Fabio Bastos expects his first harvest in January 2016 and the 40 hectares (100 acres) he planted -- half for fiber production, half for research on medicinal uses of hemp -- have already sold.

Sedina, his company, was born one year ago with an investment of $150,000 and is now valued at $5 million, said Bastos.

He already exports hemp to China and Canada, and hopes to expand into his native Brazil.

"Everyone wants hemp, everyone wants cannabis products. We are witnessing the birth of a global weed market," he said.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today pot economy thrives in uruguay Arab Today, arab today pot economy thrives in uruguay

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Ideen Belmahdy happy to be part of “ Fashion Star”

GMT 17:00 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ideen Belmahdy happy to be part of “ Fashion Star”
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 14:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

China overtakes US as Germany’s top trade partner

GMT 05:53 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Global sovereign debt to hit new all-time high

GMT 05:17 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Oil world cautious on Trump’s next move

GMT 09:59 2017 Friday ,24 February

Baidu revenue slips anew amid ad clampdown

GMT 05:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

WTO ratifies first multilateral trade deal
View News in Arabic - Business: نفط وبتروكيماويات
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 13:47 2017 Friday ,24 February

Rabia Fatima reveals role of "Facebook" in her career

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday