Mvd High – Tour through Uruguay cannabis culture

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Each day a few people do a Google search on ‘buy cannabis Uruguay’ and land on my blog. And of course they get to this article where they read the news that as a visitor, you can’t buy marijuana.

The only legal way for a visitor to get hold of weed is to be given it as a present. Well, Uruguayans are really friendly, but hey, you only just got off the ferry, right?

So… you don’t want to break the law, you don’t speak Spanish, or maybe you’re no longer in your 20s and you don’t feel so comfortable going up to some long-hair in the Ciudad Vieja.

One of your city tour stops - the Legislative Palace where the laws were passed
One of your city tour stops – the Legislative Palace where the laws were passed

Or maybe you are really curious to find out more about Uruguay’s ground-breaking cannabis legislation first-hand.

Now two tours, organised by Mvd High, a joint initiative between a small local tour company, a cannabis association and a media company provide you a great solution.

The Sensorial City tour is a regular city tour with tastings included at strategic intervals.

The Cannabis Culture tour takes you to one of Montevideo’s twelve growing coops where your guide may be one of the principal lobbyists behind the legislation.

Both include tastings of top-grade produce, just as you would experience on a good wine tour.

The Sensorial City Tour

The city tour is for those who just want to get high. You are taken around the city in a comfortable van and tastings happen at three classic tourist destinations with the twist of smoking a joint on the steps of the Legislative Assembly where the marijuana law came into effect.

First high point – Panoramic view of the city, grow shop and first tasting

The Sensorial City Tour kicks off overlooking the city
The Sensorial City Tour kicks off overlooking the city

The tour starts on high ground and the banks of River Plate in Parque Rodó. Enjoy the panoramic view of the Old City and neighbouring barrios as you hear about the history of marijuana legalisation in Uruguay and partake of the first tasting.

The tour continues to a nearby grow-shop. For most visitors from North America and Europe the most fascinating aspect of this stop will be the astronomical prices of the pot paraphanalia compared to your countries. Most of them are imported and pay high duty – hence the prices.

Second high point – Legislative Assembly where the historic law was signed

This is where you get to experience real freedom to smoke – on the steps of the national parliament for the second tasting. Compare this to Colorado, USA where pot may be legalised but virtually impossible to smoke in most public places.

There’s plenty of time to stop off and enjoy Montevideo, including a visit to the Old City.

Third high point – Port Market and the Old City

Just in time for the munchies, you arrive at the port market, which The Guardian infamously called Disneyland for carnivores and the Old City which collects most of Montevideo’s colonial era architecture.

The Cannabis Culture Tour

I got a chance to accompany Doug, a professional from Ontario, who also happens to be a member of a growers’ club back home, on the Cannabis Culture tour. Doug really wanted to find out about the legislation and how implementation is going.

His tour of a grow shop and growers’ cooperative was led by Marco, a comparative lit professor and one of three managers of the coop.

Marco was one of a handful of advocates who worked with the Mujica government to write legislation that could make its way through Congress. Legalisation was not a grassroots movement if you’ll excuse the pun. Marco points to a handful of maybe 200 souls who really made this happen. And he is one of them.

Cannabis Culture Tour
Marco (left) is an incredibly knowledgeable guide to Uruguay’s cannabis culture. The cooperative he co-founded occupies an art-deco building in a residential neighbourhood of Montevideo.

After a tour of the cooperative which grows 40g per month for each of the 40 cooperative members, you get a chance to sit down with Marco on a Saturday afternoon, with a choice of indica and sativa or organic hash oil, to quiz him on all you ever wanted to ask about Uruguayan marijuana culture.

I was impressed by the technical level of the conversation – Doug clearly knew his weed, and was relishing a chance to really dig into the Uruguayan scene first hand with Marco.

As he sat down on the coop office sofa, Doug grinned over at me, “this is going to be the best stone of my life!”

This personal contact is what Uruguay can offer you. This tour is a REAL experience not a homogenous commercialised product.

What’s legal, what’s not

It’s legal to smoke marijuana anywhere in Uruguay that can smoke cigarettes – anywhere that is open-air- however Uruguay does not allow sales to non-residents.

Uruguayans are very friendly, and as currently the government-supplied cannabis is not ready for sale, most people smoke home-grown produce – and many are happy to share.

Cannabis tour prices and conditions

The tours includes a bilingual guide, transportation, fresh organic fruit and non-alchoholic refreshments and three tasting of organically-produced high quality cannabis.

The Sensorial City Tour: 200 USD per person.

The Cannabis Culture Tour: 250 USD per person.

Discounts Rates are significantly cheaper than regular 420 tours in the USA however there are significant discounts for groups of four people or more.

Please note that tours are only available to over-18s.

To book a tour

Write to mvdhigh@gmail.com. Tell them you found out about Mvd High through Guru’guay – it does help us!

And the final word.. from Doug..

Find out more about the legislation

Photos: Mvd High and Guru’guay

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