Zurich Launches Cannabis Pilot Trial
With a population of roughly 400,000 people, Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city. Zurich also serves as the capital of the canton of Zurich, and as of this month, is now home to Switzerland’s largest regional cannabis commerce pilot trial.
Switzerland approved adult-use cannabis pilot trials in recent years, although the concept is still largely in its infancy. Back in February, Switzerland’s first pilot trial launched in Basel. The Basel pilot involves a total of 374 people.
By comparison, the pilot in Zurich will involve roughly 2,100 people. Participants will be able to sign up with one of the 21 outlets that are part of the recently launched Zurich pilot.
Regional adult-use cannabis commerce pilot projects are, in theory, designed to give national governments the ability to permit commerce on a small scale in order to gain insight and data to be better suited to implement laws and regulations at the national level. Switzerland’s pilots are slated to last for five years, and similar pilots are being considered in other European nations.
One of those nations is obviously Germany, which is pursuing a multi-phased legalization plan. The first phase involves legalizing personal cultivation, possession, and consumption along with permitting noncommercial cannabis clubs. The second phase would involve the launch of regional pilot programs.
While it will be a while before we know for sure, Germany’s pilot program is expected to be much larger and more widespread compared to what is going on right now in Switzerland. Still, Switzerland beat many European nations to the punch so to speak, and for participants of the pilots in Basel and Zurich, cannabis is essentially legal.
The speed at which cannabis laws are being modernized in Switzerland is understandably frustrating for advocates. With that being said, cannabis politics is often a game of incremental gains, and successful pilot trials will do wonders to build momentum for national reform. It’s important to keep things in context.