Starting August 1, medical cannabis is legal in Switzerland. With the modification of the Swiss Narcotics Law, which changed the legal status of cannabis, patients can now obtain medical marijuana through a simple prescription from their doctor. Before medical cannabis was legalized patients had to apply to the Federal Office of Public Health.
However, due to the substantial increase in the demand for authorizations, the Federal Council opted to accelerate patients’ access to their medicine.
Medical cannabis in Switzerland
As reported by Forbes, the new legislation enables the export of medical cannabis for commercial purposes. To do so, companies will need to apply for authorization from Swissmedic, the Swiss surveillance authority for medicines and medical devices.
Which cannabis strains will be available?
Available medical cannabis will contain high levels of CBD and less than 1% THC, according to European Union standards.
What about recreational cannabis?
Switzerland is also running a recreational cannabis pilot program.
On May 15, 2021, an amendment to the Federal Law on Narcotic Drugs that allows pilot tests for the dispensing of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes came into force. These trials are intended to create benchmarks for cannabis regulation and will include 5,000 participants, who have proven to the federal government that they have already used cannabis before.
For the trial, cannabis must be organic, produced in Switzerland, and contain no more than 20% THC. The country’s Federal Office of Public Health explained that current cannabis bans are almost useless, as “despite this ban, consumption is high, the black market is thriving, and the safety of users is not guaranteed.”
According to the International Cannabis Chronicle, a recent study by the University of Geneva calculated that the total legalization of marijuana in Switzerland would generate an estimated income of one billion dollars and create around 4,400 full-time jobs.