Zurich to launch recreational cannabis trial

Low THC-level cannabis as seen in a shop in Zurich (archive picture) © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, will next year allow people to buy cannabis products from pharmacies and social clubs under controlled conditions.

This content was published on September 14, 2021 - 13:28

The three-and-a-half year pilot scheme, announcedExternal link on Tuesday, takes advantage of a change in the law that was approved by parliament last year.

This allows cities to conduct scientific studies on the effects of the cannabis market and of the recreational use of the drug.

The ‘Züri Can - Cannabis with Responsibility’ study will start in the autumn of 2022, making different products available, each with a different THC/CBD contentExternal link.

Local manufacturers must have a production permit from the Federal Office of Public Health, ensuring quality standards. Consumers of cannabis products will also be limited to protect health, public safety and minors.

The trial will be supervised by the psychiatric hospital of the University of Zurich.

One third of the Swiss population has admitted to smoking cannabis at some point, while some 200,000 smoke regularly.

In 2008, almost two-thirds of Swiss voters rejected an initiative to decriminalise cannabis for personal consumption; it was the second national vote on the issue in a decade.

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