Uruguay on Thursday inaugurated the first cannabis museum in South America, seeking to show visitors the history of cannabis and educate them about the "enormous variety of uses" the plant has, according to Eduardo Blasina, its director.
The Cannabis Museum of Montevideo (MCM) is located in the heart of the Uruguayan capital, in the Palermo district, and will put the country on a "global map that also includes Amsterdam, Barcelona, Spain, and California, " according to a statement released by the museum.
The idea, according to Blasina, came from the legalization of the sale and production of marijuana in Uruguay in December 2013, during President Jose Mujica's administration (2010-2015).
The director of the museum, who is also a partner in one of the companies that was granted rights for the production of marijuana in Uruguay, claimed that cannabis "is a plant that offers multiple benefits," but he said that "the discourse focuses only on one of its features."
For this reason, he pointed that it is good for the visitor to "know that cannabis has been cultivated for thousands of years" and that "it has an enormous variety of uses."
Blasina also referred to the possibility that the museum could serve to promote tourism related to cannabis and thus arrival of foreign visitors.
The head of the museum also mentioned the difficulties of marijuana regulation in Uruguay, saying that although the government had legalized the sale and production three years ago, the permission to buy marijuana legally is still on hold.
Although the legislation provides that officially registered users can buy 10 grams of cannabis a week, but no more than 40 grams per month, the Uruguayan authorities have not yet been able to implement this aspect of the law.
In addition, Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez has recently announced that marijuana will not be sold publicly before the end of this year.
Blasina explained that the other two parts of the law - which provide for self-cultivation and the creation of cannabis clubs - "are working very well."