Lausanne gets green light for recreational pot smoking trial

Lausanne is the latest Swiss city – after Basel and Zurich – to receive approval to launch a pilot project to sell cannabis for recreational use as part of a study into the impact of its regulated supply.

The Lausanne project for the legal sale of cannabis, known as Cann-L, has received the green light from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the city authorities said on Tuesday.

The western city joins Basel (started in 2022) and Zurich (approved in March 2023), whose projects have also been validated by the health office.

The scientific project is intended to study the impact of regulated cannabis supply on the consumption and health of consumers, as well as its impact on the illegal market.

“After the cantonal ethics commission, the FOPH authorisation marks a major step for our project,” said Emilie Moeschler, Lausanne’s city councillor in charge of social cohesion, in a statement.

The city authorities and its partner, the NGO Addiction Suisse, hope to find around 1,200 people who use cannabis and live in Lausanne to take part in the pilot study. It has been reported that 2,000 people have already expressed an interest on the project’s website.

Cannabis products will be for “personal consumption and in the private sphere”, insist the Lausanne authorities.

The “local and organic” cultivation of cannabis plants can now begin. The first harvest will take place this summer, followed by its preparation. The cannabis sales point, which is not yet known, should open in September.

A sales team is being trained to provide advice on consumption and risk reduction as well as existing legislation.

In 2020 the Swiss parliament backed a legal change allowing for the pilot studies to find out more about the effects of recreational use.


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