Call for tenders to grant new production and distribution licenses of recreational cannabis in Uruguah

Uruguayan government announced that on February 11, 2019 an open call will be published to grant up to five new licenses for the production and distribution of psychoactive cannabis (THC equal or greater than 1%) to be sold for recreational purposes (non-medicinal) in drugstores.

The purchase of marijuana without medical prescription in drugstores’ for such use, is one of the three access methods legalized by law No. 19,172, which was passed five years ago and is already implemented in Uruguay.

Currently there are two companies with production and distribution licenses awarded in 2015 (ICC and Symbiosis). The distribution by the companies referred to the drugstores authorized by the Ministry of Public Health and the IRCCA, was implemented mid-2017. To the date, that network consists of 17 drugstores and the number of people registered to buy is almost 32,000.

According to the information disclosed by the IRCCA, the new call is a consequence of the demand exceeding the offer, as well as the sustained increase in the registration of individuals to purchase legal marijuana through drugstores.

Although the terms and conditions of the tender will be published on February, IRCCA disclosed certain characteristics of the call, among which we highlight the following:

  • The conditions for the sale will be the same as those currently in force.
  • Each licensee must guarantee the annual production of up to 2 (two) tons of female flowers, unfertilized, dried, conditioned and packaged.
  • The production will be in closed areas under controlled conditions and with quality management systems with UNIT ISO 9001/20015 certification.
  • The varieties of cannabis to be produced, the land, the perimeter security and the management system for production traceability, will be provided by IRCCA.
  • Human resources, facilities, internal security, logistics and distribution in adequate vehicles, shall be provided by the licensee companies, which must present the amount and composition of the proposed investment, as well as the technical qualities of the team (including pharmaceutical chemist, agronomist and responsible for GXP).
  • The National Secretariat to Prevent Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism shall previously report regarding the final beneficiaries and the origin of funds.

The granting of the licenses is without prejudice of other permits that the companies shall obtain, for instance, regarding the production plant and the final product within the Ministry of Public Health.

Be aware that tender calls such as the announced are only required for the production and distribution of psychoactive cannabis for the acceding method referred to above, but is not necessary for other authorizations provided under Uruguayan law to produce and/or commercialize cannabis for medicinal, industrial or research purposes, which shall be granted upon private request and for which there are no quantity limits.

Contact us for more information regarding current licenses, features of the Uruguayan cannabis market and other requisites of the prospected call for tenders.