On May 15, 2021, an amendment to the Federal Narcotics Act came into force in Switzerland, allowing pilot trials involving the dispensing of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes. These trials are intended to create the basis for future legal regulation and will include 5,000 registered participants, who have proven to the federal government they already have been consuming cannabis.
For the trial, cannabis must be organic, produced in Switzerland, and contain no more than 20% THC. The country’s Federal Office of Public Health explained that the current cannabis prohibitions are almost useless, as “despite this ban, consumption is high, the black market is thriving, and users’ safety is not guaranteed.”
On Tuesday, Swiss authorities gave the green light for a pilot project under which a few hundred people in the city of Basel will be allowed to buy cannabis from pharmacies for recreational purposes, reports the Associated Press.
Almost 400 participants will be able to buy cannabis products at selected pharmacies. They will be questioned regularly on their cannabis consumption habits and their physical and mental health over a period of 2 ½ years.
The Federal Office of Public Health said the idea of the projects is to increase understanding of “alternative regulatory forms,” such as regulated sales at pharmacies that could be a basis for future legislation. Cannabis for the study will be supplied by Pure Production, a Swiss firm that has been granted an exemption to the law for its research.