The Public Health Authority in Switzerland has authorized the establishment of the first legal adult-use cannabis stores in Europe, as part of a pilot project to legalize cannabis.
German cannabis company Sanity Group and the Swiss Institute for Addiction and Health Research (ISGF) received final approval this week from the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) for a pilot study in the canton of Basel-Landschaft (Baselland). The approval follows earlier approval by the Ethics Committee of Northwest and Central Switzerland last year.
The project, called “Project Grashaus,” is expected to start later this year. Its main goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of regulated access to cannabis. The knowledge gained from this study will be crucial in shaping future cannabis regulations in Switzerland.
It is worth noting that Sanity Group is the only non-Swiss company participating in this pilot program. It plans to open a store in Allschwil, followed by another in Liestal.
The study is designed to monitor participants’ consumption patterns and assess their physical and mental health. Up to 3,950 healthy adult residents of the Basel-Landschaft canton will take part. These individuals will have to pass a medical test and complete an initial online survey to participate. Once accepted, they will be able to legally purchase cannabis at designated cannabis stores, thanks to a special participation card.
Cannabis stores in Switzerland will sell quality cannabis products
Prof. Dr. Michael Schaub, ISGF’s scientific director, who will lead the study, said the knowledge gained can contribute to substantive discussions in the field of health policy. At issue is the responsible use of cannabis and the basis for decisions on long-term regulation.
Finn Hänsel, CEO of Sanity Group, said: “Together with ISGF, we are developing concepts for safe sales based on health and youth protection and prevention. We expect interesting results from the study, which will have international relevance.”
What makes the project different is that the sales are not made through pharmacies or clubs, but through stores, initially in Allschwil.
According to a Sanity Group press release, a cannabis store recently opened in Allschwil, the first legal cannabis store in Europe. Another in Liestal will open in the coming months.
The products will meet quality standards set by Pilot Trials and Swiss organic regulations. The products will be produced by Swiss partner SwissExtract.
Stefan Strasser, CEO of SwissExtract, said: “The entire production process is done in-house – from growing to processing to packaging. SwissExtract is our passion and commitment to people and the environment.”
If you want to read more about the first two legal cannabis stores that will be open in Europe, and to find the most important cannabis news of the day, download for free the Hemp.im mobile app.
The first legal cannabis stores in Europe will be open before the end of the year
The price of the cannabis flowers will range between CHF 8 and CHF 12 (PLN 37 – PLN 56), depending on THC content.
The pilot will start in the fourth quarter of 2023 and will last for five years. The Basel-Landschaft approval of this pilot is the sixth such project in Switzerland.
Since last year, Switzerland has allowed several cities, including Basel, Bern, Biel/Bienne, Lucerne, Geneva and Zurich, to launch their own pilot programs. The results of these projects could also be relevant outside Switzerland, especially for EU countries looking to legalize cannabis for adults.
Germany experienced this when it had to change its initial plans after the European Commission intervened. They are now legalizing personal use of cannabis, and are also planning research into controlled sales.
Similar experiments are taking place in the Netherlands, where cannabis is tolerated, and the governments of Breda and Tilburg recently received approval to begin pilots in December.
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First published in Fakty Konopne. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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