Switzerland Unveils Data from ‘ZüriCan’ Adult-Use Cannabis Pilot Study

As Europe witnesses the steady normalization of medical and adult-use cannabis, Switzerland has embarked on a unique approach through its adult-use cannabis pilot program. Recently, Swiss officials released the first data from the pilot study conducted in Zürich, shedding light on the country’s evolving cannabis landscape and consumer preferences.The insights gleaned from the study are crucial for assessing the public health implications of adult-use cannabis availability, not only in Switzerland but also across Europe. The pilot program spans various cities, including Lausanne, Liestal, Bern, Geneva, and others, along with several cantons.A glance at the data reveals that out of 2,100 participants, 1,928 are currently eligible to purchase cannabis as part of the study. Predominantly, male participants constitute 80.7%, reflecting a trend observed in previous surveys. The age demographic skewed towards the 28-32 age group, with a mean age of 35 years.Moreover, the study delves into consumption habits, indicating that a majority of participants consume cannabis four or more times a week. Notably, about a fourth of the participants showed evidence of cannabis use disorder before accessing products in the study, as confirmed by the Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test (CUDIT).Researchers emphasize the potential of regulated cannabis distribution in promoting lower-risk consumption and facilitating access to advice and treatment services. Furthermore, participants’ engagement with the study indicates positive reception and underscores the efficacy of the distribution system.The pilot program initially offered five options, which expanded to nine cannabis products, including flower and hash variants with varying THC and CBD levels. While specific product preferences were not detailed, approximately 16,500 sales totaling around 140 kg of cannabis products were recorded.In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Cannavigia is leveraging its Cannabis Dispensary System to track sales and provide insights into consumption trends. Tobias Viegener, Head of Marketing at Cannavigia, lauds the initial findings as promising and instrumental in shaping future cannabis policy and regulation.In a parallel development, Switzerland announced its largest cannabis trial to date, spanning five years and involving up to 7,500 participants. The study aims to evaluate the social and economic ramifications of legalizing recreational cannabis use, alongside a self-regulation program for preventing excessive consumption.With ongoing research initiatives and evolving regulatory frameworks, Switzerland remains at the forefront of cannabis policy innovation, offering valuable lessons for global cannabis reform efforts.


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