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Swiss Government Releases Details On Adult-Use Cannabis Pilot Schemes

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has announced further draft details on the plans for legalised supply of adult-use cannabis under pilot schemes. Under the current plan, the pilot schemes can be set up from May 15th 2021 and can run until May 2031 at the latest.

If your business is interested in getting involved in the market in Switzerland, get in touch with our consulting team at info@prohibitionpartners.

The Swiss parliament passed regulations in September 2020 which allow for the initiation of pilot schemes wherein adult-use cannabis can be legally produced, imported and distributed to registered users. The FOPH released a draft of the regulation today, the 31st of March, divulging further details on the schemes.

Along with the trial schemes for adult-use supply in The Netherlands, Switzerland will be the first region in Europe to allow for a fully legalised adult-use cannabis supply chain. As explained in the recently released European Report, it is possible several other countries on the continent will soon legalise adult-use cannabis at least on a trial basis.

Below we spell out some of the major points of the new regulations, which will be finalised upon publishing in the Federal Gazette.

Regulation of Pilot Schemes: 

Pilot schemes are set up with the express purpose of acquiring scientific knowledge such as the socio-economic effects of legalisation. They can be instigated by public or private entities, with the participation of a research institute as well as cantonal and local authorities and the approval of the FOPH

Pilot schemes are limited to one municipality each and can last up to 5 years with the possibility of being extended for a further 2 years. Initiators of pilot schemes should monitor the health of participants with the appointment of a responsible doctor. Individual pilot schemes can provide cannabis to a maximum of 5,000 registered participants. Intended points of sale must be pre-approved by the FOPH.

Regulation on Participants: 

Users must be able to prove they already consume cannabis, prior to entering the pilot scheme. Users must be domiciled in the Canton where the specific pilot scheme is in operation. Users will need to be in possession of a certificate of participation in the scheme to be able to possess adult-use cannabis.

Regulations on Cultivation: 

Products must be organically grown, with the definition for “organic” being set out in Swiss Law. Products must be grown in Switzerland insofar as is possible. Products must be grown in accordance with Good Agricultural Practices set out by the European Medicines Agency. Exceptions to the above may be made if the demand cannot be met by products produced under these conditions.

Regulations on Products: 

The THC content should not exceed 20%. Products should not contain more than 10 mg of THC per unit of consumption. The cannabinoid contents must not deviate from the reported values by more than 25% for raw flower or 15% for processed products. Unprocessed products (flower), extracts and isolates as well as ingestible products can be permitted in pilot schemes.

Regulation on Packaging:

Products intended for ingestion must be in child-proof packaging Packaging must be plain, with safety warnings and information on cannabinoid content Packaging must refer to the Pilot Scheme under which the product is distributed

A PDF of the original draft ordinance can be found here.

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