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Europe’s First Pilot Program to Sell Cannabis to Adults Will Start in January 2023

The Weed Care pilot program was initially scheduled to launch in Switzerland’s third most populous city, Basel, on September 15th and was to run until March 2025. According to the original plans, Pure will deliver two types of hashish and four varieties of cannabis to selected pharmacies in Basel, which will be available for purchase starting January 30th, 2023.

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A groundbreaking study that is expected to “open the door” to more adult-use cannabis trials in Switzerland and Europe is back on track after the second batch of cannabis was approved for use.

Pure Production AG confirmed that it had received approval from Swiss health authorities to supply the cannabis after its first 30-kilogram batch failed to meet quality standards.

Read more about the Weed Care pilot program and find other cannabis news with the Hemp.im mobile app.

The Weed Care pilot program was initially scheduled to launch in Switzerland’s third most populous city, Basel, on September 15th and was to run until March 2025

However, days before the start of regulated sales of adult-use cannabis at selected pharmacies in Basel, the city’s health department announced that the marijuana supplied “did not meet the quality standards set out in the pilot study regulation under the Narcotics Act.”

Switzerland’s legal framework for the controlled sale of adult-use cannabis for research purposes requires that the products used to be organically grown and must not contain substances not approved for organic cultivation.

Analysis of Pure’s first batch revealed that it contained 0.1-0.2 parts per million (ppm) of fluopyram, a pesticide “not approved for organic cultivation,” which is believed to have come from greenhouse soil contaminated “years before” Pure began using the site.

While the levels of fluopyram were within the limits of conventional food consumption (lettuce has 15 ppm), strict legislative guidelines meant that the decision was made to burn the 30-kilogram batch and halt the program until a solution could be found.

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This sparked a six-week discussion between the government and those involved in the study on how to find an alternative source of the product to ensure the study began as soon as possible.

The options were limited; there are not many recreational markets in the world that are able to export cannabis. Switzerland was considering Canada, but there was a need to make sure suppliers were growing organically according to Swiss regulations, further reducing the number of potential suppliers.

Although the option of importing products from Canada was published in the Swiss press, it was only meant to be a “fallback option” if Pure’s second batch was also not approved.

In the midst of these discussions, Pure successfully harvested the second batch of cannabis at an alternative site that “has been run organically for 30 years.”

The company has already received a permit from the federal office, and its second batch has been confirmed as “meeting all quality criteria.”

According to the original plans, Pure will deliver two types of hashish and four varieties of cannabis to selected pharmacies in Basel, which will be available for purchase starting January 30th, 2023.

Some 340 of the total 370 participants have already been registered and will be included in the study, with the remaining 30 to be included before the start date.

The program is called “experimental” because the entire approach of the study is to gather evidence in order to create a better regulatory system. The conclusions of the Weed Care pilot program will be important for the entire cannabis industry, not only in Switzerland but across Europe.

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(Featured image by Joseph Eulo via Pexels)

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Helene Lindbergh is a published author with books about entrepreneurship and investing for dummies. An advocate for financial literacy, she is also a sought-after keynote speaker for female empowerment. Her special focus is on small, independent businesses who eventually achieve financial independence. Helene is currently working on two projects—a bio compilation of women braving the world of banking, finance, crypto, tech, and AI, as well as a paper on gendered contributions in the rapidly growing healthcare market, specifically medicinal cannabis.