Juan Andres Palese, a marijuana grower in Uruguay, shows his crop on the outskirts of Montevideo in December 2013. Palese was using a fake name when he founded Uruguay’s first marijuana growing store, where he made sure not to sell any illegal seeds or plants. But he’s operating in the open now that Uruguay's pot laws have changed. (Matilde Campodonico, Associated Press file)

Would you pay these dues to join pot-growing club in Uruguay?

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — A group has taken steps to become the first officially recognized marijuana-growing club in Uruguay, where lawmakers have made their country the world’s first national marketplace for legal pot.

The Association of Cannabis Studies of Uruguay began the process by registering with the Education and Culture Ministry, Drug Control Chief Julio Calzada said Tuesday.

The club will have 40 members and will be headed by Laura Blanco. She told the Uruguayan newspaper El Pais that members will pay $300 each to join, and a monthly fee of up to $65. Some of the members will use the marijuana to treat medical conditions.

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Lawmakers in December approved Uruguay’s experiment with marijuana, giving the government the power to oversee production, sales and consumption of a drug illegal almost everywhere else.

Joining a growing club is one of three legal ways to obtain pot under the law.

Licensed buyers will be able to purchase up to 10 grams a week or 40 grams a month from a network of pharmacies that is expected to be functioning by late 2014 or early 2015.

Uruguayan citizens and legal residents 18 or older can also register to obtain licenses giving them the right to cultivate up to six marijuana plants per household and harvest 480 grams a year, or join a marijuana-growing club with between 15 and 45 members and no more than 99 plants.

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This story was first published on DenverPost.com