Switzerland’s Thriving Cannabis Trials Steal European Limelight

As the struggle for cannabis reform persists across European countries, Switzerland has strategically advanced, rolling out an adult-use cannabis pilot framework that is now garnering intrigue from European cannabis stakeholders and policy makers. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Switzerland’s cannabis pilot framework emerges as a potential model for Germany’s ‘Pillar 2’. 
  • Europe’s pioneering THC adult-use cannabis trial, Weed Care, embarks on its second phase with augmented participation. 
  • Surprisingly, study participants preferred high-THC products over low-THC ones, citing quality of product as influencing their preferences. 

As countries grapple with their reform ambitions dampened by international legal obligations, Switzerland has been quietly surging forward, making noticeable strides. With Germany expected to mould itself around this Swiss framework and a growing number of German enterprises looking for insights from Switzerland, anticipation for the launch is building rapidly. 

Europe’s First THC Adult-Use Cannabis Trial: 

Europe’s first-of-its-kind THC adult-use cannabis trial, acclaimed ‘Weed Care,’ has triumphantly commuted to its second phase, doubling the participants. This is only the inception of a multitude of pilot studies slated for a swift launch. 

Switzerland’s Commencing Cannabis Trial: 

After braving a stormy beginning, Switzerland’s commencing cannabis trial has impressively expanded. Framework progression details were published on July 28, 2023, by the Basel-Stadt Health Department. The study, spanning until July 2025, has attracted significant public attention. 

Over the course of the first six months, cannabis products have been accessible to only 180 out of 374 study participants. As stated on their official website, this research design approach, referred to as the ‘gold standard of research,’ allows analysts to evaluate potential shifts in consumption behaviour and the health status of the first group in comparison with the subsequent group. 

What BRITISH CANNABIS has to say: 

With no adverse effects cited in the six-month duration where participants had to fill out detailed questionnaires every two months pertaining to their health and consumption habits, the study looks promising. Participants exhibited an inclination towards higher-THC products in both hashish and flower categories manufactured by Swiss manufacturer Pure Production. 

Marc Brüngger, Pure Production’s Head of Innovation and Regulation, flagged that this preference may be influenced by the quality of the lower-THC flower available at early stages. He anticipates that the trend may continue, with strong hashish being sold three times more than the mild versions, aligning with consumption predictions for the launch of the second group. 

Upcoming Extensive Study: 

Launched later this month will be a more extensive study with an objective that stands to ‘examine the effects of purchasing chosen cannabis products from controlled cultivation under strict regulation.’ This study also aims to compare the ‘different models of procurement,’ with its 2,100 participants granted the authority to procure cannabis from a social club, pharmacy or a drug counselling entity. 

Future Cannabis Trials: 

Two more cannabis trials are set to usher in by the end of the year, in Geneva and Lausanne, opening fresh horizons in the domain of cannabis reform and use. The progress of these Swiss pilot studies indeed offers a glimmer of hope to other countries seeking reform in their cannabis policy, providing them with a practical working model and insights to embark upon their legislative journeys. 

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