Could Switzerland Lead Europe On Recreational Cannabis Trials?
There has been a great deal of speculation about what the “Swiss exemption” might do to spur cannabis reform in Europe. There have been talks of pilot trials not to mention pharmacies offering both recreational product and pharmaceutical grade cannabis. And then of course there is the huge success of the “Cannabis Lite” market (CBD) that continues to power forward despite all the problems encountered in European neighbours.
But what will the Swiss really do that is different from the EU? After all, Switzerland’s closest trading partners are both Germany and Austria where things on the cannabis discussion are clearly moving, albeit on the highly conservative side.
Look For City Trials
Because the Swiss are in an interesting position legally (i.e. outside the EU) they are not bound by other discussions currently afoot if not tangling the conversation just about everywhere else. Namely novel food and the CBD market.
However it does not end there. Because of this freedom, the idea of starting recreational trials here, just to cut down on the black market has been bubbling forth on the agenda for several years now. Then of course, there is the tax money that comes from legal sales.
Switzerland, in other words, is able to play with new models in ways that its European neighbours cannot. But what will that mean to the EU if not beyond?
The UN Still Rules
While Switzerland is one step removed from the regulatory oversight of Brussels on the cannabis issue, it still has to comply with international UN drug regulations. For that reason, no matter how many interesting trials, including both medical and of the recreational kind, the Swiss are unlikey to move too far ahead of UN mandate.
And that, for all the hoo ha, has not moved very fast so far, nor is it likely to.
Trial programs, in other words, are all that is likely to happen here, at least for the next several years.
The Swiss-Luxembourg Axis could prove to be an interesting echo chamber to move reform forward. Luxembourg’s current political party has embarked on a five year path to recreational reform. As the only country in Europe to do so, the balance of power if not debate might be held between these two countries as trials get underway and establish results.
The Swiss Pharma Power On The Horizon
The reality however is that the environment, no matter how it develops, favours Swiss exports in both the pharmaceutical and CBD space as the market bubbles along in trial mode.
That, for now at least, however is creating one of the more intriguing experiments or labs in Europe.