The first legal cannabis dispensary in Europe is expected to open by the end of the year as part of Switzerland’s sixth adult-use cannabis pilot project.
The Swiss Institute for Addiction and Health Research (ISGF) and Sanity Group have received final approval from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) to conduct a pilot study on cannabis in the canton of Basel- Campaign, after receiving approval from the Ethics Commission of North-West and Central Switzerland (EKNZ) last year.
Up to 3,950 adults living in the township will be able to participate in the study, which aims to examine the regulated sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes.
This is the sixth pilot project for the sale of cannabis for adults in Switzerland that has received the green light.
However, unlike other pilot projects, distribution will not take place through pharmacies or clubs, but through a traditional point of sale.
Europe’s first legal cannabis store for consumption is being set up in the municipality of Allschwil. Another store will follow in the coming months in Liestal, where consumers can purchase various cannabis products such as flowers, extracts, hashish, edibles and vaping liquids.
Gathering data on cannabis use
The study is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023 and last five years.
Led by Professor Michael Schaub, scientific director of the ISGF, it will record consumption behavior as well as the physical and mental health of participants.
“After an initial information meeting about the trial and how to handle cannabis, potential participants will be subject to a medical aptitude test and an online survey,” explains Professor Schaub.
“If participants are accepted into the study, they will be able to legally obtain cannabis at the point of sale for a limited period using a participation card. Ongoing surveys of participants’ consumption behavior and physical and mental health will take place every three to six months. »
The societal effects of consumption, in particular on public security and order, will be analyzed through close exchange and the integration of relevant target groups, such as the public prosecutor.
He adds: “The results of the study can contribute to an informed health policy debate regarding the responsible use of cannabis and serve as a basis for making decisions on long-term regulation. »
“In addition, we would like to study whether it is possible to have better access to high-risk consumers suffering, for example, from mental health problems, in order to direct them to the appropriate cantonal care centers.”
Locally grown cannabis
All cannabis products will be produced in accordance with BetmPV quality requirements and organic guidelines in Switzerland by Swiss cultivation partner SwissExtract.
Prices for cannabis flowers would be between 8 and 12 CHF, depending on the THC content.
Stefan Strasser, CEO of SwissExtract, said: “Our goal is to provide high-quality products with high reliability based on solid scientific study. We focus on organic quality, Swiss character and transparency. »
“As we only use natural substances for the cultivation of our raw materials, we guarantee non-polluting products. With us, the entire value chain is brought together under one roof: cultivation, processing and packaging take place exclusively in Switzerland; Furthermore, we document the production process, from plant seed to final product. SwissExtract is for us the work of a lifetime, with sincerity towards people and the environment. »
“Results of international interest”
Over the past few months, Sanity Group, Europe’s leading cannabis company, has worked with regional and national authorities to get this ambitious project off the ground.
Finn Hänsel, CEO of Sanity Group, commented: “We are pleased about the approval of the study in Basel-Landschaft and the opportunity to make our contribution to social acceptance and knowledge transfer around Cannabis plant and its multiple uses. Our ambition to support the ISGF pilot project with our knowledge and experience as an international cannabis company is primarily based on promoting research in the field of cannabis. »
“Since the creation of the company, our goal has been to continue research into the benefits of cannabis and to destigmatize the plant. In collaboration with the ISGF, we develop safe sales concepts based on health protection, youth protection and prevention. We expect the study to produce interesting results, which will be of international interest. »
Further information on the project is available at: www.grashausprojects.ch.