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Nearly one year after the cultivating and selling marijuana became legal in the country of Uruguay, the country now has 1,200 registered and authorized cannabis growers according to the head of the National Drugs Board, Julio Calzada.

“It is encouraging to have 1,200 growers after three or four months since the law came into effect.”

Calzada emphatically stated, adding the implementation of the new cannabis laws are coming along “on a clear path, carefully and under control.”

President-elect Tabare Vazquez has no plans to halt the progress either, stating his government will abide by the law authorizing the grow and sale of marijuana through pharmacies (dispensaries). However, Vazquez made it clear his administration was open to adding new regulations if necessary.

Similar to caregiver systems in state side medical marijuana programs, Uruguay allows for ‘cannabis clubs’ that are registered with the Institute for Regulation and Control of Cannabis. Calzada estimated that nearly 500 had already registered. Each club is permitted to grow up to 99 plants and a maximum of 45 members. That said, Calzada said he thinks most people will gain access to their medicine through the pharmacies.

Most importantly, it seems the medical community is open to the implementation of the law as well.

“We will abide by this law and we will have a very strict monitoring to see how it works.”

Said Vazquez, a medical doctor. “If the need arises to amend the law, we will send a bill to parliament to be debated.”

The government has not announced which companies will be operating cultivation facilities or pharmacies, preventing legislators from putting the final touches on the legal framework concerning the distribution of product to pharmacies.

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