State dispensaries arise in Uruguay after bank retaliation


Pictured: Customers wait in line for cannabis at a Uruguay pharmacy.

On Wednesday, Uruguay’s government announced it would change its cannabis retail system after banks made it difficult for pharmacies to sell legal cannabis.

After nationwide legalization of social cannabis took effect in July, pharmacies were designated to sell cannabis provided by the federal government. Since then, banks have threatened pharmacies and refused to do business with them in order to follow international banking laws, which ban the handling of money tied to cannabis.

Government official Juan Andres Roballo said the government will fix the problem by setting up regulated dispensaries which only accept cash.

Since cannabis went on sale at 16 pharmacies, Uruguay became the first nation to legalize social cannabis from grow to retail. Three pharmacies backed out of selling cannabis after being warned by banks.