Switzerland, in many ways, is at the forefront of cannabis policy. Since 2017, selling low-THC products (less than 1%) has been legal nationwide. Switzerland is also one of a growing list of countries in Europe that is set to launch an adult-use cannabis pilot program.
A cannabis pilot program essentially involves national governments letting local municipalities conduct legal cannabis commerce as part of a research program that seeks to gather information to, in theory, help national lawmakers craft their cannabis policies.
About 400 people in the city will be allowed to buy cannabis from select pharmacies in Basel in late summer, the city’s government said.
They will be questioned regularly about their usage pattern and physical and mental health.
Basel is home to a population of roughly 171,000 people, the fifth most populated city in Switzerland, so allowing only 400 people to participate in the program is essentially a drop in the bucket. However, every pilot program has to start somewhere, and for Switzerland, it will start in Basel.
While Basel is the first city in Switzerland to launch a pilot program, it will not be the last. Switzerland’s government has made it clear that it intends to allow pilot programs to operate in multiple cities, so long as the participants are teamed up with an accredited research organization, such as a university.