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Switzerland cannabis pilot programs set to expand

Switzerland is home to a cannabis commerce public policy experiment that is based on a concept which is seemingly growing in popularity in policy and regulatory circles. The concept, limited regional cannabis commerce pilot projects, is already in operation in Basel, Switzerland, where 374 people between the ages of 18 and 76 can make legal adult-use cannabis purchases.

Additional pilot programs were approved for Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, and Bern, with Bern’s pilot program set to launch this fall. The pilot program in Bern ‘plans to recruit 1,091 participants, including approximately 600 in the federal city,’ according to domestic reporting.

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city, with a population of roughly 400,000 people, although the overall metro area pushes that number considerably higher. Zurich’s pilot program is expected to launch at the end of the summer and will involve 3,000 participants when fully operational. Participants will be able to make legal cannabis purchases from an expected 21 regulated outlets in Zurich.

Switzerland is not the only nation pursuing plans for regional pilot programs. Officials in Denmark are pursuing their own plans, and Germany is likely to eventually become the largest embracer of such public policy efforts. German lawmakers are working right now to hammer out details that will serve as the foundation for the nation’s pilot programs.


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