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Switzerland to launch adult-use experiment

If there is one word to describe the European approach to cannabis generally, it has been so far, caution. If there was another, it would be regulation. There is nothing “casual” or indeterminate in every European national approach to a conversation that is now so overdue it is burning its way into international discourse.

Even more pressing for the Swiss at this point, a non-EU nation in the middle of Europe, is the fact that their neighbours in Luxembourg are barrelling towards a recreational experiment of their own in 2022.

The solution? A national trial which will allow up to 5,000 adults per participating municipality, to purchase cannabis in Swiss pharmacies – without a prescription. Even more intriguingly, all the cannabis sold via this route must be produced domestically (it cannot be imported). Furthermore, THC content may not exceed 20%.

Prices will be set to compete with the black market – and can be adjusted on the level of THC in the strain. Cities must submit their own plans to participate in the trial, which is intended to run for five years.

Some of the other requirements are a bit vague including proving “previous experience” with the plant as a consumer. How is one supposed to “prove” a previous experience with cannabis? No doubt the savvy Swiss will find a way. It may not be Colorado, in other words. But it is clearly a move in the right direction. And further, it may also signal where Luxembourg’s first recreational cannabis crops will come from beyond Portugal.


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