Activists gather in support of the legalization of marijuana outside the Congress building, as senators vote on a law to legalize the drug, in Montevideo, Uruguay on Dec. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

Medical marijuana labs eye Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay—Foreign laboratories want to open laboratories in Uruguay to study the potential uses of medicinal marijuana now that the weed has been legalized in the South American country.

Uruguay’s Congress recently approved creation of the world’s first national marketplace for legal marijuana. The government will oversee production, sales and consumption of the drug.

Presidential Spokesman Diego Canepa said Monday that foreign labs have told the government they’d like to set up there. Canepa is quoted by the local daily El Observador as saying that “Uruguay will become a hub for biotechnology.”

El Observador also says that Canada’s government has started talks to import marijuana from Uruguay for medicinal purposes.

Uruguay’s law doesn’t consider the possibility of exporting pot, although it could be included after a government commission rules in April.

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