The Swiss government is planning the launch of its eagerly awaited pilot scheme, designed to assess the implications of recreational cannabis legalisation. The scheme was approved by the Swiss parliament in September 2020, allowing the launch of the pilot from 15th May 2021.
While recreational cannabis remains illegal in Switzerland, the country has one of the most liberal approaches to the drug in Europe. For hemp cultivation, cannabis plants with a concentration of 1% THC are permitted. Furthermore, the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use was decriminalised in 2012.
The launch of pilot schemes in Switzerland could see the country continue this liberalisation of the plant in the coming years as well as collect much-needed data and real-world evidence to support further reforms in other areas of the world.
According to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the aim of the regulation allowing these pilot schemes “is to increase knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of controlled access to cannabis, and to provide a sound scientific basis for possible decisions on the way the approach to cannabis is regulated.”