Zurich is launching a trial run for recreational cannabis. The city will be testing the product by allowing residents to purchase it from pharmacies, and giving them a license to grow their own plants at home.
According to Swissinfo, the majority of Swiss citizens favor cannabis legalization as long as there are enough and efficient regulations in place to safeguard children. The majority of the 3,166 adult respondents in the poll are not only in favor of legalizing, but also of launching pilot experiments to investigate regulated distribution. It should come as no surprise that the country is ready to begin a recreational cannabis experiment, given the majority of people’ support.
Support from the Swiss
According to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), two-thirds of those polled want the minimum legal age for cannabis use to be 18 years old, with 70% of those polled believing it is critical to “change the cannabis legislation in Switzerland.”
Reforming cannabis regulations to reduce the illicit market and improve consumer safety were mentioned by the participants, which are both legitimate reasons to favor cannabis legalization. However, other individuals were concerned about the consequences of cannabis on young people’s brains.
In addition to stringent regulations to protect children, proponents of cannabis legalization have cited a prohibition on advertising and high taxes on cannabis products as useful methods for safeguarding public health if legalization is implemented. The survey’s goal, according to Swissinfo, was to determine if people would accept regulated cannabis distribution and “gauge public sentiment on legalization itself.”
The Cannabis Trial for Recreational Use
Switzerland has chosen to start a recreational cannabis experiment in Zurich, one of the country’s biggest cities, with widespread public backing. The experiment will take place in the city, and individuals will be able to buy cannabis products from pharmacies and social clubs under strict guidelines.
This three-and-a-half-year pilot experiment is claimed to take advantage of legislative amendments passed by Parliament last year. According to Swissinfo, this enables the country to undertake research on the impacts of the cannabis market, recreational cannabis usage, and, of course, the effectiveness of the cannabis market’s laws and regulations.
A research dubbed “Züri Can—Cannabis with Responsibility” will commence in the autumn of 2022 as part of the recreational cannabis experiment. The research will include having several cannabis products available for purchase, each with a varied THC/CBD concentration. The study is a wonderful chance to perform essential research surrounding the drug, as well as an efficient method to evaluate how legalization of cannabis would affect individuals, markets, and business.
Local producers that want to participate in the cannabis experiment must first acquire a permission from the FOPH to guarantee that their goods satisfy the required quality requirements. This study will also be overseen by the University of Zurich’s mental hospital.
Currently, there are approximately 200,000 habitual cannabis users in Switzerland. The support for legalization is surprising given that two-thirds of the public voted against a 2008 referendum that would have allowed people to use cannabis in private without facing penalties or prison time. Fortunately, increasing acceptance of cannabis and study into the plant is assisting in the removal of the stigma and misinformation that has long surrounded the plant and its use.
The Swiss Cannabis Market is Dedicated
Since 2017, growing and selling hemp inflorescences (clusters of flowers on a stalk) with less than 1% THC has become allowed in Switzerland. As more evidence of the negative consequences of high-potency THC became available, “light” cannabis became more popular in Switzerland. Swissinfo reports that the number of registered producers in the Swiss market has increased from five in early 2017 to approximately 630 in 2018.
Production seems to be stalling now because too many individuals or organizations are attempting to grow cannabis, and market demand has not yet caught up with supply. Cannabis growers viewed cannabis as a “lifeline,” according to Swissinfo, but they didn’t necessarily “know who precisely they were entering into business with.” Maybe the research they do during the recreational cannabis experiment will be adequate to find out how to restore the supply-demand equilibrium.
The future developments in the Swiss cannabis industry provide people with a chance to firsthand experience what cannabis is like and how it may improve health and quality of life. Even people who are opposed to personal cannabis usage will profit from the money generated by cannabis taxes. Supporters and opponents of legalization should both be able to understand how cannabis legalization can fit into society if the trial goes as planned.
Chane Leigh, nicknamed The Bud Fairy, is a cannabis advocate and enthusiast from South Africa with a fiery personality and a desire to travel. She enjoys educating others and challenging social conventions.