Switzerland To Expand Cannabis Trials To More Cities

Switzerland has given the green light to more cities to lunch trials on the sale of legal cannabis to assess the health and social effects of legalization.

The cities of Biel/Bienne, Lucerne, and Bern, the de facto capital of Switzerland, join the trials to assess the impact of cannabis sales in the country, which aim to provide data that could potentially shape the government’s policy on cannabis.

The SCRIPT study

The Safer Cannabis Research In Pharmacies randomized controlled Trial (SCRIPT) of the University of Bern received early this month approval from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the Swiss federal government’s Center for public health, and other local and national agencies to start a cannabis trial to assess the impact of legalization.

The SCRIPT study will be conducted by researchers from the Universities of Bern and Lucerne in collaboration with the cities of Bern, Lucerne, and Biel/Bienne, as well as numerous partner institutions and authorities.

The study is expected to start this fall and aims to investigate the health and social effects of a strictly regulated, non-profit-oriented sale of cannabis in pharmacies. However, only half of the 1,000 participants will be allowed to buy regulated cannabis products in pharmacies during the first six months.

The Cannabinotheque

Meanwhile, the FOPH has also approved a similar program focused on a single authorized dispensary called the “Cannabinotheque,” which will provide regulated access to cannabis. The dispensary will operate on a membership model in Vernier, a municipality in the Canton of Geneva. It will start this year and involve the participation of up to 1,000 people over three years, while the fourth year will be dedicated to the submission of the final report to the federal authorities.

Cannabis trials in Switzerland

Bern, Biel/Bienne, Lucerne, and Geneva join Basel and Zurich on the list of Swiss cities hosting trials focused on the sale of legal cannabis.

In fact, Basel became the first Swiss city to allow the sale of recreational cannabis for scientific purposes last year, with Zurich following in March of this year.

The decentralized nature of these trials, conducted by different universities, may prove advantageous for Switzerland as it allows the examination of the effects of legal cannabis sales from various perspectives and through different methods.

Furthermore, these studies offer an opportunity to get scientific knowledge regarding various regulatory approaches. The findings can potentially contribute to a well-founded basis for discussions surrounding a responsible cannabis policy in Switzerland, as the wide range of information obtained from these studies can provide a comprehensive assessment of cannabis legalization in the country.

At the moment, Switzerland prohibits the production, import, or sale of recreational cannabis, except for CBD products containing a THC level below 1%. However, it fully legalized medical cannabis in August of last year, allowing patients to obtain cannabis for medical purposes through a medical prescription. Prior to the new legislation, medical cannabis patients had to submit a request to the FOPH.

Cannabis trials in Europe

Switzerland’s cannabis trial formula, used to study the effects of legalization on public health and society, is starting to be adopted also by other European countries.

The Netherlands has planned to launch a trial for cannabis sales in the cities of Tilburg and Breda, which is expected to start between October and December 2023.

Germany, which is expected to introduce a bill to legalize recreational cannabis in a few weeks after revising its initial plan, has announced a similar project to conduct a trial on a recreational cannabis sales program.

The cannabis trial programs are getting attention in Europe as they are a formula that can potentially get political approval and overcome the international legal hurdles to legalize cannabis, as well as provide helpful information on how to shape cannabis policy.

Read more here: Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *