Switzerland is launching a pilot program for the legal sale of marijuana, which we first reported on two years ago. A year later, it was reported that Zurich would be the first city to participate in the project. Today, it is already known that the first city to receive approval to launch the project announced two years ago is Basel. The law passed in 2020 allows the launch of controlled sales under a pilot program in any city, and there are many indications that we will soon report on the next one. Here's a look at who will be able to legally purchase and consume weed in Basel starting in September, and under what rules.
Switzerland launches pilot program for legal marijuana sales
The law authorizing the launch of a pilot program for the controlled sale of recreational marijuana to adults was passed in Switzerland nearly two years ago. We reported on it T U T A J. The implementation of the program is, among other things, a result of the Swiss Health Commission's support of marijuana legalization in 2019.
The marijuana legalization pilot program is expected to last five years. The seed distributed under the program is to come exclusively from Swiss crops grown according to Swiss organic cultivation standards.
In passing the new legislation, the National Assembly rejected a number of items imposing additional regulations and restrictions on the program that would have affected its participants. Among the items dropped were:
- informing the school or employer of participation.
- suspending a driver's license for the duration of participation in the program
- registration of users
- prohibiting those with a history of drug problems from participating in the program
- limiting THC levels to 15% ( the level was eventually set at 20%)
According to the Federal Office of Public Health, the introduction of the program is intended to help people learn about and understand "alternative forms of regulation," such as precisely the legal, fully controlled marketing of dried cannabis.
Initially, it was said that the first city to launch the program would be Zurich. Such information appeared nearly a year ago, we reported on T U T A J. The program, called "Züri Can, Cannabis with Responsibility," is announced for this year, however, the specific launch date is not yet known.
Ultimately, the first Swiss city where four hundred adults will be able to legally purchase and consume dried cannabis under the program will be Basel.
At the end of this summer, some 400 people with a Swiss passport will be able to legally purchase cannabis at established outlets within Basel. Those taking part in the program will be observed and regularly examined by scientists and doctors, who will give an opinion on the physical and mental health of those taking part at the end of the program.
The project is overseen by the University of Basel and its psychiatric clinics, as well as the health department. The whole thing is made possible by a law introduced in 2020 that allows Swiss cities to run cannabis pilot programs.
The Federal Office of Public Health has said that dispensing or reselling cannabis acquired under the program will be punished.