A cannabis flower with 10% THC marketed in Uruguay
Increasingly high THC, attractive to consumers...
Until now, the IRCAA, Uruguay's Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis, had approved a 9% limit for cannabis products in the legal market.
A new decision to market a legal cannabis variety has been made. The THC content will reach 10% for this new variety which will be marketed only in pharmacies during 2022.
Compared to the levels found on the black market, high in THC and reaching almost 30% it may seem low. However, this is a real evolution for legal cannabis as the psychotropic effects of the plant can be remarkable at this THC level. The varieties available so far called Alpha and Beta, which can also be found in pharmacies, have a content of 1 and 2% THC respectively.
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This is a revival for the world of pharmaceutical cannabis, which has seen a real fall in sales in recent months in Uruguay. It is a "very positive resolution" according to Daniel Radio, secretary general of the National Council of Drugs (JND) who explains that "we have more than 42,000 people registered to buy cannabis in pharmacies and they were not buying. I believe that with this, we will try to recover this market, which could have gone to illicit trafficking or other forms of access to the regulated market." In addition, "people who don't buy from the pharmacy because they don't like it, don't give up using, but rather move to another form of access. What we need to achieve is that people consume cannabis in the variations offered by the regulated market and not on the black market."
The General Secretary also discusses the supply problems that Uruguay is going through lately: "What is happening to us is that we have had a problem with the supply of pharmacies. At the same time, we did not activate more pharmacies because we did not have enough products, and at the same time the companies, with some reason, complained that if we did not activate more pharmacies, they did not sell more; we were in a vicious circle. Now we have decided to get out of this circle, (...) to demand more production from the companies and create more pharmacies".
An evolutionary perspective in the market is forming, with a strategy in place to turn around sales by attracting the population with more THC-laden cannabis products.