Zurich plans to launch a trial program for consumption and sale of cannabis this summer, which has been approved by the Swiss government.

To study the effects of legalizing cannabis on the population, Switzerland is expanding its pilot scheme.

It aims to provide a clearer picture of cannabis legalization's impact on the country.

On Tuesday, March 21, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the center for public health for the federal government, approved Züri Can - Cannabis with Responsibility, a project designed by the Zurich city council and the Zurich University Hospital to examine how regulated cannabis supply impacts consumer consumption and health.

The study investigates how consumption and health of participants are affected by purchasing selected cannabis products from controlled cultivation under regulated conditions to provide politically and technically relevant insights into the best possible way to deal with cannabis.

A study is being conducted to compare and contrast various cannabis supply points and products, as well as the current illegal market situation, in order to protect minors and maintain public health.

Starting this summer, Zurich, Switzerland's largest city, will offer up to 3,000 residents regulated doses of cannabis for personal use. As a return, they will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about their health and consumption habits every six months.

Over-18-year-olds are eligible to participate in the program, except pregnant women, professional drivers, and those who show signs of drug dependence or poor health.

The study cannabis will be available at pharmacies, special dispensaries, and social clubs throughout Zurich. A total of 21 supply points will be available by August 2023.

Prices of these regulated cannabis products will be adjusted to reflect changes in illegal market prices.

The participants will have the option to choose from a variety of products containing varying concentrations of THC and CBD. The products will be strictly monitored for purity and produced organically by Swiss companies.

Pure Production AG and Swissextract, the two producers, can begin cultivating cannabis plants after obtaining government approval. As reported by the Swiss news website Nau, the first harvest is expected to take place in July 2023, while hash products, which require more complex processing and take longer to produce, will be available by the end of October 2023.

As part of the pilot program to study the effects of legalizing cannabis in Switzerland, Zurich is the second Swiss city to participate. In 2020, the Swiss parliament passed a legislative amendment permitting trials to investigate the impact of recreational cannabis use on human health. The first trial, which involved approximately 400 participants, was conducted in Basel last year.

Cannabis legalization is not the only European country investing resources in research.

The Netherlands has recently launched a pilot program for cannabis sales in Tilburg and Breda.

Some European countries are bypassing trial experiments and legalizing cannabis for adult use directly.

In the next few weeks, Germany intends to introduce a bill legalizing cannabis.

Despite observing the German initiative, the Czech Republic has not yet revealed the details of its plans to legalize cannabis.

There were expectations that Belgium and Luxembourg would implement cannabis reforms that would permit domestic cultivation, but their legislation has not been finalized.

Malta is the only European country to legalize adult-use cannabis for cultivation and consumption, but not for sale.
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