Uruguay has been making tremendous strides in international cannabis distribution. The country’s buds have already made it all the way to Germany.
But a recently approved decree has the potential to propel Uruguay to the forefront of cannabis logistical endeavors.
Other countries can now ship cannabis products to Uruguay. While in the country, the products can get repackaged while in transit before being reexported to other countries – without any payment of customs duties, explained Bruno Guella, managing director of MVD Free Airport.
MVD Free Airport is a company operating the cargo terminal inside the airport for Uruguay’s capital city, Montevideo. The airport area it operates in is a free-trade zone.
Patients throughout Uruguay usually have access to legal, commercial medical cannabis products through compassionate-use access programs that permit importation for individuals’ products. Unfortunately, this is inefficient and costly, meaning it’s not always affordable. This is increasingly the case in Brazil.
“This is a solution for cannabis companies that want to export to individual patients in countries such as Brazil or Argentina but face the logistical and economic impracticality of having to obtain at origin an export permit for each individual shipment,” Guella told Marijuana Business Daily.
He explained that this could work for many countries. For instance, companies in Canada could:
- Ship cannabis products in bulk to Montevideo airport using a single Health Canada export permit. The products would remain in transit stored. If the products are eventually to be sent from Uruguay to Brazil, new export/import permits would be necessary.
- Have the bonded warehouse operator separate and repackage the products if needed. The products could then ship from Uruguay to individual patients residing in other countries that permit cannabis importing. The companies can also re-export the products in bulk.
However, the decree states that the products’ composition cannot be changed in the bonded warehouse.
Uruguay continues to pioneer the legal cannabis industry. But with this decree, the country is expanding the industry’s reach and accessibility. As other countries look to legalize, they will turn to Uruguay’s successes as proof that this industry is legitimate and here to stay.