A Few Hundred People in One Swiss City Will Get to Try Recreational Marijuana as Part of a Big Social Experiement

February 3, 2023 · Cannabis.net

In Switzerland’s bustling metropolis, Basel, a rare opportunity has arisen. The city has just launched its pilot cannabis project, granting exclusive access to a privileged few. A select group of several hundred individuals will now be able to indulge in recreational marijuana, easily procured at local pharmacies.

Swiss authorities gave the green light for a daring experiment last year – a pilot project exploring uncharted territories. The Federal Office of Public Health eagerly embraced this endeavor, hoping to gain valuable insights into alternative forms of regulation. Through this project, they aim to shed light on the potential of regulated sales at pharmacies, which may serve as a foundation for future legislation.

The highly anticipated Basel pilot project is finally set to take off, with the full support of the University of Basel, the local government, and the city’s University Psychiatric Clinics. As summer draws to a close, nearly 400 participants will embark on a journey of discovery, buying various cannabis products at carefully chosen pharmacies in the city. Throughout the two 1/2-year studies, they will be closely monitored and questioned, offering valuable insights into the effects of marijuana consumption on both their physical and mental health.

The participants of this revolutionary project will be under strict surveillance by the watchful eyes of government regulators. They will be required to keep their newfound access to cannabis strictly to themselves and prohibited from sharing with anyone beyond the program.

To ensure full transparency, Vigia AG, a Swiss tech company, has joined forces with the Federal Office of Public Health to create the Cannabis Dispensary System. This cutting-edge software will provide reliable documentation of the dispensing of cannabis products, making it possible to track the movement of these goods with ease and lay the foundation for groundbreaking scientific research.

As the world navigates the uncharted waters of the cannabis industry, Switzerland is blazing a trail with its structured and transparent legalization process. Vigia AG, a pioneer in the field, is proud to be a part of this historic moment as the country sets a shining example for the world to follow.

According to the COO of Vigia AG, Philipp Hagenbach, the company is honored to provide the key players with the tools to track and document every step of the supply chain meticulously. He added that with the company’s innovative Cannabis Dispensary System, and Cannavigia software, they’re proud to be at the forefront of this landmark Swiss program.

In a recent press release, Vigia AG highlighted its commitment to this groundbreaking project and its role in shaping the future of the legal cannabis industry.

Traceability and Transparency

Vigia AG is making history as the official track & trace partner for the Federal Office of Public Health’s pilot trials. This collaboration between the government and a leading commercial player in the cannabis industry is a first of its kind in the sector. With its innovative software solutions, Vigia AG has taken its offerings to the next level, adding the Cannabis Dispensary System to its existing Cannavigia software. This powerful combination allows the companies responsible for cultivating cannabis for the projects to keep a watchful eye on their entire cultivation and supply chain, ensuring that the end product meets the highest quality standards.

The masterminds behind the projects will have the power to register participants and keep track of every detail with the help of cutting-edge software. The individuals in charge of the Weed Care study have been testing since September 2022. The software will closely monitor all sales and individual quantities dispensed to participants. With the software in place, only those authorized to purchase the products will be able to do so, ensuring the protection of consumers, particularly minors. This leads to a transparent and traceable supply chain that can easily be maintained in a future where cannabis is fully legalized.

The Cannabis Dispensary System gives the Federal Office of Public Health a bird’s eye view of the flow of cannabis in Switzerland. It helps fulfill their reporting obligations to the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board. With a solid commitment to privacy and security, the software ensures that the participants’ data is always kept confidential and stored under pseudonyms for ultimate protection.

Establishing Confidence in the Marijuana Industry

With the Narcotics Act and the strict regulations of the pilot trials in place, maximum transparency and compliance are a top priority throughout the entire value chain. For Vigia AG, maintaining openness and compliance extends beyond just meeting regulatory requirements and obtaining certifications. This commitment to ethical and responsible practices will be evident in the pilot projects.

By utilizing the software, the market players can have confidence that they will meet the future quality and information standards set by the Federal Office of Public Health. This way, Vigia AG and the other organizations involved in the pilot projects are working to build trust for the eventual legalization of cannabis and to offer a clear vision of what a future regulated market could look.

Switzerland Leading the Way in a Systematic Legalization Pathway.

Some countries, such as Canada, Uruguay, and Thailand, have taken steps toward decriminalizing or legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. However, these nations face challenges such as overproduction and persistent black markets. Businesses in these countries also encounter obstacles, such as limited access to banking services and insurance companies.

As one of the few nations exploring the potential of cannabis legalization, Switzerland is paving the way for a model system. By testing the waters with these pilot projects, the country can avoid the setbacks faced by other nations that have already legalized marijuana. The trials will allow for early detection of any issues while determining the ideal balance between over- and under-regulation.

The collaborative effort between private and public sectors in Switzerland highlights the importance of this kind of partnership in advancing the legalization movement. Other nations can see Switzerland as a shining example and learn from its trials.


The cannabis pilot project in Switzerland marks a historic milestone in the journey toward the possible legalization of marijuana. The collaboration between the government, academic institutions, and private companies set an example of a structured legalization process, making it possible to test the viability of regulation and ensure transparency along the supply chain.

With Vigia AG’s advanced software, the trial offers a unique opportunity to monitor the circulation of cannabis in real time and establish a solid foundation for scientific research. Switzerland’s innovative approach towards cannabis legalization will no doubt be a source of inspiration for other countries as they seek to establish a safer and more effective regulatory framework for the industry. (Full Story)

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