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Uruguay marijuana growers compete in Cannabis Cup

In this July 16, 2016 photo, a competitor looks at a marijuana bud through a magnifying glass at the fifth annual Cannabis Cup, a competition for best marijuana, in Montevideo, Uruguay.
In this July 16, 2016 photo, a competitor looks at a marijuana bud through a magnifying glass at the fifth annual Cannabis Cup, a competition for best marijuana, in Montevideo, Uruguay. AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay  — Uruguay is home to the world’s first government-regulated national marketplace for pot, so it’s not surprising that growers have a competition for best marijuana.

At the Cannabis Cup over the weekend, a panel of regional experts judged entries for aroma, flavor, effects and strength before picking the winners of the best indoor and outdoor crops.

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Silver cups were awarded to the winners, such as Guillermo Amandola, who won in the self-grown outdoor crop category, and Eduardo Bandera, for self-grown indoor pot.

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All the competitors received a jar with samples from others in the tournament and were allowed to taste some of the finest pot in the South American country.

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In this July 17, 2016 photo, Juan Vaz, left, stands next to Guillermo Amandola, first place winner of the outdoors crops category in the fifth annual Cannabis Cup, a competition for best marijuana, in Montevideo, Uruguay.
In this July 17, 2016 photo, Juan Vaz, left, stands next to Guillermo Amandola, first place winner of the outdoors crops category in the fifth annual Cannabis Cup, a competition for best marijuana, in Montevideo, Uruguay. AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico

The contest was held in Montevideo at a private building where bands played rock music while competitors smoked joints and vendors sold food and marijuana paraphernalia. Alcohol was banned.

Uruguay legalized the cultivation and sale of marijuana in 2013 in an effort to fight rising homicide and crime rates associated with drug trafficking. The law allows the growing of pot by licensed individuals, the formation of growers and users clubs, and the sale by pharmacies of 40 grams of marijuana a month to registered users.