The city of Lausanne announced on Tuesday May 10 that it will launch its pilot project for the legal sale of cannabis by the end of 2022. The objective is to study the impact of a non-profit sales model on the consumption as well as health and safety.
“In Lausanne, as in other cities, cannabis is very present. It is estimated that 6,500 people used cannabis last month and 1,500 use it daily,” Emilie Moeschler, city councilor in charge of sports and social cohesion, told reporters on Tuesday.
“It is essential for cities to launch such experimental studies in order to approach the subject objectively and calmly,” added the socialist municipal councilor. In 2016, Lausanne had already expressed its interest in a pilot experiment in order to develop its policy in this area.
The city has chosen the competence center Addiction Suisse as a partner, which will lead the scientific component. The trial is planned for a period of four and a half years. The management of the sale of cannabis will be entrusted to a new non-profit association called Cann-L, for “Cannabis Lausanne – The responsible alternative to illegal cannabis”.
Point of sale in the city center of Lausanne
The cannabis distributed as part of the pilot project will come from local and organic crops. Adult participants in the trial will be able to buy it at a specialized point of sale, which will be in the city center. The place will not be medicalized, unlike German-speaking Switzerland which prefers pharmacies, said Emilie Moeschler.
At the end of May, the project should be submitted to the cantonal ethics commission and to the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) for examination.
In mid-April, the FOPH gave the green light to the city of Basel for the first pilot project of this type. The Basel project will start at the end of the summer with nearly 400 participants. As part of the study, they will be able to buy various cannabis products, such as dried cannabis flowers and hashish, in certain Basel pharmacies.