Uruguay: Recreational pot sales begin July 19 at pharmacies

Legal sales of marijuana for recreational purposes are set to begin next week in Uruguay at a limited number of pharmacies to nearly 5,000 people who have registered as consumers.

The South American nation's Cannabis Regulation and Control Institute said Friday in a statement that pot will be available starting July 19 in 5-gram amounts at 16 pharmacies across the country.

The packaging comes with a security stamp that guarantees authenticity and warnings about the effects of consumption.

Lawmakers approved a bill in December 2013 making Uruguay the first country to have a legal marijuana market covering the entire chain from plant to purchase. It also permits individual cultivation of marijuana and the creation of cannabis clubs. Users may buy up to 40 grams a month.