On May 15th, 2021, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health opened the process to receive applications from study organizers based on the amended Federal Narcotics Act to allow pilot trials for the dispensing of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes.
These ambitious trials are to provide factual data over a period of five (plus two if needed) years to allow stakeholders to evaluate the social impact of the consumption of recreational cannabis in Switzerland. It’s probably the world’s greatest societal study at national scale on recreational cannabis.
Cloud 9 Switzerland has recently been accepted as a supplier of THC-containing chocolates exclusively for the Swiss pilot trials by the Federal Office of Public Health.
So what do these pilot trials mean for the future of cannabis use in Switzerland? Let’s find out.
What’s the purpose?
The modification of the narcotics law was made to gain insight and knowledge into the advantages and disadvantages of recreational cannabis use. Moreover, the trials will provide a scientific basis for decisions regarding cannabis regulation in the future.
Currently, it’s illegal to sell cannabis and cannabis products with greater than 0.2% THC in Switzerland—like most of the world. Despite this, one-third of the population (of a total of 8.6 million) has admitted to smoking cannabis at some point, while approximately 200,000 regularly consume, mainly through smoking. Consumption is due to the illegal market—which also means that its safety or quality isn’t guaranteed nor controlled.
Parliament in consultation with all stakeholders decided to make amendments to the existing Narcotics Act (NarcA) to allow for the legal provision of recreational cannabis to existing adult consumers over a period of 5 + 2 years.
The pilot trials are authorized by the Federal Office of Public Health, and must adhere to the following guidelines:
- They must be limited in time, locality (by Canton), and scope.
- They must make it possible to gain insights into how legal consumption affects cannabis non-medicinal use and how this will affect the health of users.
- They mustn’t affect public health and safety, the safety of youth, or public order.
- They must use cannabis products of Swiss origin.
There are also certain regulations for participants, such as:
- Participants must prove that they already use cannabis before taking part in the pilot trials.
- They must be domiciled in the pilot scheme’s specific Canton.
- They need to possess a certificate of participation in the scheme to possess cannabis.
Products (like Cloud 9 THC-containing chocolates) included in the pilot trials are also subject to regulations, including:
- THC content must not exceed 20%.
- Products must contain more than 10mg of THC per unit.
- Products (like flowers), extracts, isolates, and edible products are permitted in the pilot trials.
How will the pilot trials be carried out?
The pilot trial process will involve the following steps:
- The first part of the process involves how the study organizer will manage their pilot trial. This includes the planning, coordination, and execution method of the trials, as well as deciding on the cannabis cultivators/product producers.
- Next, there will be a coordinated submission of applicants.
- Applicants will be examined and authorized based on various factors.
- Once the pilot trials start, participants will be recruited under particular criteria: they are over 18 years old, have used cannabis previously, and must live in the Canton where the trial is based. There can be a maximum of 5000 participants for each trial.
- Trials are carried out under careful scientific supervision.
- Products will not be taxed for the period of the trial.
- Trial data is evaluated and communicated to the Federal Office of Public Health and used as a scientific basis for the future regulation of cannabis use.
What can we learn from the pilot trials?
The purpose of the pilot trials is to provide us with a deeper understanding of how controlled cannabis consumption affects the physical and mental health of users. It will also provide insights into specific societal behaviors linked to cannabis consumption.
Additionally, the pilot trials will consider the socio-economic aspects of cannabis consumption, like how it affects work productivity, family and social relationships. They might also examine how regulated consumption impacts the illegal market and public safety.
What do the trials mean for the future of recreational cannabis in Switzerland?
While the pilot trials are being carried out, approved participants will be able to legally purchase cannabis-based products.
Those who take part in the trials will also be made aware of the risks involved in cannabis consumption by staff who have been trained accordingly. This means cannabis supply chains will be strictly monitored from seed to product distribution, so fewer people will resort to the illegal market to purchase cannabis.
As one example, in September 2021, the city of Zurich announced its recreational cannabis trial that will allow people to buy cannabis products from pharmacies and social clubs under controlled conditions. The trial will begin in 2022 and will be strictly monitored by the psychiatric hospital at the University of Zurich.
Cloud 9 Switzerland’s role in Swiss pilot trials for non-medical cannabis
As mentioned before, Cloud 9 Switzerland’s application has been accepted to take part in pilot trials for nonmedical cannabis with our delicious THC Swiss Chocolates. Cloud 9 is excited to be a part of this program to evaluate the pros and cons of recreational cannabis consumption in Swiss society.
Although the trials and consumption of cannabis products pertain to THC containing Chocolates within the confines of the studies, there are still ways you can enjoy the benefits of the legal Hemp CBD products.
Cloud 9 Switzerland provides premium hemp Chocolate products to help improve the health and wellbeing of customers.
With Cloud 9’s range of Hempseed Oil and CBD Swiss Chocolates, customers can benefit from a range of Cloud 9’s flagship chocolates VIVA and VIVA 50 Healthy Hemp Swiss Chocolates. Made from premium Swiss chocolate, VIVA and VIVA 50 Chocolates are available in three delectable flavors including plain dark, orange & ginger and moringa & mint.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about our products and our company, click on the image below to contact us and one of our experts will get back to you!