The first legal retail cannabis dispensary in Europe is set to open in the Swiss municipality of Allschwil later this year, according to a press release from Berlin-based Sanity Group.

Two Grashaus stores will open in the Basel-Landschaft region of Switzerland as part of a wider study on the controlled dispensing of recreational cannabis. Switzerland is currently running a number of pilot schemes allowing limited numbers of adults access to cannabis. The trials aim to understand the wider impact of cannabis legalisation, building a scientific basis for future decisions on cannabis regulation across the country.

Other pilot schemes are already underway in the country, but at present trial participants are only able to purchase cannabis from pharmacies. The Basel-Landschaft pilot is the sixth to be approved in the country, following final approval from the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). The study, being undertaken by The Swiss Institute for Addiction and Health Research at the University of Zurich, will record consumption behaviour in 3,950 participants. As well as monitoring the physical and mental health of participants, data will also be collected on the wider societal impact of adult cannabis consumption, with a focus on public safety and law and order. The trial is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023 and will run for five years. 

The first Grashaus dispensary will open in Allschwil, with a second expected to open in Liestal in a few months. Cannabis products such as flowers, extracts, hashish, edibles and vape liquids will be sold over the counter to participants in the scheme who possess a valid participation card.

image of person rolling cannabis joint
Image supplied by Sanity Group / Grashaus Projects

Cannabis flowers are expected to be priced between 8-12 CHF (£7-£10.50 GBP). Similar to other pilot schemes all cannabis products available to participants are expected to be grown to strict standards and certified organic. “Our aim is to provide high-quality products with high delivery reliability as the basis for a sound scientific study. We focus on organic quality, ‘Swissness’ and transparency,” Stefan Strasser, CEO of cultivation partner SwissExtract said.

 “As only natural substances are used in the cultivation of our basic raw material, we guarantee pollutant-free products. The entire value chain is united under one roof with us – cultivation, processing and packaging take place exclusively in Switzerland; in addition, we document the production process from the plant seed to the end product.”

Europe’s first legal cannabis dispensary to open in Switzerland this year

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