Cannabis Cup Over the weekend of the 16th July, Uruguay held a successful Cannabis Cup event with a great turn out. The Cup was held in a beautiful private residence in Montevideo which was the perfect venue for such an event, with open fires and tall windows giving an overall sense of intimacy. Live bands played rock music (which created an alternative spin on the usual hip hop, rap and reggae that usually filters through the speakers at such events.) Vendors sold food and marijuana paraphernalia and competitors smoked joints as this was a dry event, meaning alcohol was banned giving way to focus even more on marijuana– everyone was there solely to support and celebrate the Uruguayan cannabis culture. Over the weekend, judges from across the region judged various cannabis strains on their strength and effects, flavours and aromas before announcing indoor and outdoor strain winners.
Cups were then awarded to the winners with Guillermo Amandola, winning a cup in the self-grown outdoor crop category, and Eduardo Bandera, for self-grown indoor pot.
Since 2013, Cannabis laws have been relaxed in this South American country and the reasoning behind legalising marijuana in Uruguay is quite a surprising one. Usually (and we use this term very lightly) investors and entrepreneurs see dollar signs in their eyes while campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis alongside activists, but since 2013, cultivation and sale of marijuana has been legal in a bid to combat the rising homicide statistics and crime rates that go hand in hand with the drug trafficking. Growers and pharmacies alike have to be licensed and pharmacies can supply 40grams a month to registered only users with an extremely low price of around $1.20 (USD) per gram. The reason with product is so cheap is to undercut the price cannabis sells for on the black market.
Companies such as Symbiosis are to be the cultivators of upcoming Uruguayan strains, and there are thought to be around 3,200 officially registered people who can grow up to six plants for personal use as well. However, there has been some controversy over this as the government is so determined to keep their cannabis off the black market that all the strains grown by the corporations will come from fully traceable, specific genetic plants which leads some people to believe they will be GM strains.