The city of Basel will be the first Swiss city to authorize some of its inhabitants to legally consume cannabis. From the end of the summer, 400 residents of Basel will be able to buy flowers and resin in pharmacies, even if cannabis remains a “illegal substance” in the country. This free pass will last two and a half years.
The cannabis will be supplied by Pure Production, a company from the canton of Aargau in northern Switzerland. It has already benefited from government research authorization since 2020.
In this German-speaking city, participants must be of legal age, regularly consume cannabis, and reside in Basel. The authorities are looking for “ordinary” consumers. They will also have to agree to be followed by doctors. Because this authorization to consume cannabis legally is a life-size scientific study.
This is the whole objective of a pilot project voted by the Swiss government in April 2021. A political soap opera that has been going on since 2016. The authorities want to observe ” the effects of regulated cannabis sales on the consumption behavior and health of cannabis users”specifies the canton of Basel-City in a press release. The 400 participants will therefore be the guinea pigs of this study.
A “discussion basis” for future legalization
The authorities therefore do not give a blank check to consume cannabis in peace. On the contrary, consumers will be studied very closely. They ” will be regularly questioned about their cannabis use behavior and their physical and mental health” .
After Basel, other Swiss cities are considering embarking on this experiment in turn. The economic capital, Geneva, but also the second city, Zurich, could pass there. If these studies are conclusive, the Confederation could consider legalizing cannabis for the whole country. ” These results should contribute to a solid basis for discussion for a responsible cannabis policy in Switzerland.”continues the canton.
The country is already at the forefront in its regulations around cannabis. On the health side, the medical use of the plant is authorized on a case-by-case basis. On the hemp and CBD side, Switzerland authorizes the sale of varieties containing up to 1% THC. This is currently the highest rate in Europe, where the other countries of the continent set the limit between 0.3% and 0.6%.