With Canada currently examining ways to legally regulate the distribution of recreational cannabis, we thought it was a good idea to take an updated look at the only country in the world that has legalized the sale of cannabis; Uruguay (other countries may turn a blind eye to cannabis sales, but Uruguay is the only one where it has been statutorily legalized).
In Uruguay, it’s entirely legal for those 18 and older to cultivate up to 6 cannabis plants at any given time, with an allowed annual harvest of roughly 500 grams. Adults can also join cannabis clubs, where cannabis can be shared and consumed, and can purchase cannabis from designated cannabis pharmacies. Although the United Nations has warned Uruguay about moving forward with this new law, they’ve done so anyway.
Within the country, cannabis is being sold entirely tax-free to help undercut the black market. This brings the average price per gram down to just 22 Uruguayan pesos, or roughly $1. Although this results in less revenue earned by the country, it prevents situations where the black market simply lowers their prices to compete with the typically higher price of legal cannabis.
Although he didn’t win, Uruguay’s then-President José Mujica, who was the primary advocate of the measure that legalized cannabis, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Price in 2014, shortly after the measure was passed into law.