MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – The Latest on legal marijuana sales in Uruguay, which began Wednesday at 16 pharmacies across the South American nation (all times local):
One of Uruguay's first customers for legal, pharmacy-sold marijuana is hailing the application of a law that passed in 2013.
Thirty-five-year-old construction worker Santiago Pinatares emerged from the Antartida pharmacy in the capital, Montevideo, with a packet of pot he purchased there.
Pinatares said he has smoked marijuana since age 14 and is grateful not to have to buy on the black market any more.
He called the measure "a great advance" and said the South American nation is "at the forefront" of the issue worldwide.
Legal pot sales began Wednesday at 16 pharmacies across Uruguay. Users must register to be able to make purchases and can get up to 40 grams per month.
Marijuana is going on sale at 16 pharmacies in Uruguay, the final step in applying a 2013 law that made the South American nation the first to legalize a pot market covering the entire chain from plants to purchase.
Authorities say nearly 5,000 people have registered as consumers allowing them to buy marijuana when sales start Wednesday. About two-thirds live in the capital, Montevideo.
The price is set at the equivalent of $1.30 per gram. Ninety cents of that goes to the two businesses chosen to cultivate the marijuana. The rest is split between pharmacies and the government, which will use its share to fund prevention programs.
Users can buy up to 40 grams a month.
The packing comes with a seal of authenticity and warnings about the drug's effects.