Switzerland is fast becoming the first country in Europe Union to provide regulated recreational weed. True, it was an experiment, but still a year earlier than we can expect in the Netherlands from the experimentally closed coffee shop chain. This week it became known that in addition to Basel, which already has approval to start this summer, the city of Lausanne also wants to start providing recreational cannabis for experimentation later this year for four and a half years.

Lausanne, like Basel, wants to start providing recreational weed for experimentation this year

In doing so, the two cities highlight the option to experiment with selling cannabis for recreational purposes, which was approved by the First Chamber of Switzerland in September 2020. The aim is to investigate the impact of a non-profit sales model on consumption and on health and safety.

Lausanne has selected the Competence Center Addiction Switzerland as a partner, which will lead the scientific part. Cannabis must be grown locally and organically. The adult test participants should be able to buy it at a special point of sale, which should be located in the city center. The place will not be Medical by the way, unlike German-speaking Switzerland, which prefers pharmacies.

At the end of May, the project must still be submitted for review to the cantonal Ethics Committee and the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Switzerland moves towards full legalization of cannabis

In September last year, the federal government announced that it wants to relax the rules on medicinal cannabis and lift the ban. Even better news came in October last year, when the Social Security and Health Committee of the Council of States ordered that Switzerland should legalize cannabis. Earlier, the Public Health Commission of the National Council in Switzerland already agreed.

The government now has to start making a bill, but seems to prefer local experimentation at first. Four and a half years is a very long time for an experiment.

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