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Switzerland Launches Groundbreaking Cannabis Pilot Trials with Vigia AG as Official Partner

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ZURICH, Switzerland – Switzerland is making significant strides in the legalization and regulation of cannabis with the commencement of pioneering pilot trials. The second pilot, which commenced on August 22, allows participants in Zurich to purchase controlled cannabis products from designated dispensaries, marking a major step forward in understanding the impacts of regulated cannabis sales on consumption and public health.

The ambitious three-year study aims to provide comprehensive insights into how the regulated sale of cannabis products affects participants' consumption habits and overall well-being.

Leading the way in this groundbreaking initiative is Swiss company Vigia AG, which has been selected as the official track and trace partner for the pilot trials by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Vigia AG, renowned for its track and trace software for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution, has developed the innovative Cannabis Dispensary System (CDS) in collaboration with the FOPH. This system allows for the precise documentation of cannabis product dispensing, ensuring complete traceability and serving as a foundation for robust scientific research.

The data gathered through the CDS will also enable transparent reporting to the United Nations' International Narcotics Control Board, promoting accountability and adherence to international standards.

The ZüriCan project, currently underway in Zurich, is the most significant endeavor for Vigia AG to date. With over 2,100 participants and 21 authorized dispensary outlets, including pharmacies, social clubs, and a dedicated drug information center, ZüriCan represents a substantial milestone in Switzerland's cannabis regulation journey. Each dispensary is authorized to serve between 50 to 150 participants.

One standout feature of the project is its customized interface connecting Vigia AG's software to research databases, addressing the specific demands of stakeholders.

Pia Meyer, Product Manager at Vigia AG, commented, “This project reflects our commitment to ensuring maximum compliance with regulations while promoting transparency at every stage of the value chain, from cultivation to distribution. We aim to guarantee that consumers have access to safe, high-quality products that meet rigorous standards set by the FOPH.”

A key focus of the ZüriCan study is to analyze the health outcomes of cannabis consumers under various regulated supply point models. Staff at these supply points will engage with participants on a personalized level, providing tailored advice regarding cannabis consumption habits.

Notably, ZüriCan includes social clubs, marking the first non-profit associations in Europe where members have the legal right to purchase and collectively consume cannabis.

Both cultivation companies involved in the trial are utilizing the Cannavigia Compliance Suite to ensure complete supply chain traceability, aiming for enhanced product quality, harm reduction, and consumer safety.

The partnership between Vigia AG and the Swiss government is unique, combining the Cannabis Dispensary System (CDS) and the Cannavigia Cannabis Compliance Software Suite to monitor cultivation, supply chains, and sales. This ensures the quality of cannabis products and safeguards against unauthorized purchases, including validation features used by local law enforcement across different cantons.

This collaborative effort promotes consumer protection, especially for minors, and establishes a transparent and traceable supply chain, aligning with potential future legalization efforts. Participant data will be stored pseudonymously to ensure data protection.

Philipp Hagenbach, COO and co-founder of Vigia AG, expressed his enthusiasm about the project, stating, “Our software reassures that participants and stakeholders are in line with the FOPH's quality and legal requirements during the performance of the pilot trials. It allows the collection of all the data necessary for the research of the associated study of the pilots and gives the regulator the instrument to fulfill the monitoring requirements according to international standards. We are proud to be a part of the regulatory changes which are happening currently and have a close collaboration with all the different stakeholders involved.”

The ZüriCan project is poised to provide invaluable data that will contribute to informed decisions regarding responsible cannabis policies in Switzerland and beyond.

 

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.