By / March 27, 2024

Züri Can, Pilot Program for Legal Cannabis, Releases Data

The project Züri Can – “Cannabis with Responsibility” inaugurated in Zurich, where participants can legally purchase cannabis, aims to explore the impact of legalization on society. Conducted by the Addiction Disorder Research Group at the Psychiatric University Clinic Zurich, the experiment began in March 2023. Its goal is to provide scientific evidence on the consequences of legal cannabis distribution.

Züri Can responds to the growing global interest in regulating cannabis access and the potential benefits such an approach might have for public health, crime, and the economy. Züri Can seeks to gather relevant data that could influence future policy decisions regarding cannabis in Switzerland and globally.

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Organizing Access to Cannabis

Within the Züri Can project, participants have the opportunity to legally purchase cannabis at one of 21 designated locations, including pharmacies, the Drug Information Center (Drogeninformationszentrum), and Cannabis Social Clubs. Pharmacies offer professional health advice, the DIC specializes in promoting safe recreational drug use, and social clubs provide a space for social cannabis consumption and experience exchange. This variety of access points aims to study the impact of different distribution environments on consumption and related behaviors.

Züri Can Participant Demographics

Examining the demographics of the Züri Can project participants reveals a clear age diversity. The largest group consists of individuals aged 28 to 32, accounting for over 23% of participants. Significant participation also comes from the 23-27 and 33-37 age groups. Interestingly, the project attracts participants from a wide age spectrum, even beyond 50 years, indicating diverse needs and experiences related to cannabis consumption.

As for participant gender, men dominate, comprising about 80% of all registered, while women represent 18%, and non-binary individuals 1.2%. Such demographic distributions align with general trends observed in cannabis user studies but also highlight the need to understand unique consumption patterns and behaviors by gender.

Consumption Frequency

An analysis of consumption frequency showed that the largest group of Züri Can participants, over half, consumed cannabis at least four times a week before starting the experiment. A significant portion of participants used cannabis two to three times a week. These data indicate a high level of engagement and regularity in consumption among participants, providing important information for analyzing potential changes in consumer behaviors within the project.

Cannabis Use Disorders

Cannabis use disorders can manifest in various ways and severity levels. Within the Züri Can project, it was noted that a certain percentage of participants experienced issues related to cannabis use before joining the program. With regulated cannabis availability, participants can purchase products with specified and controlled THC and CBD concentrations, potentially reducing risk and ensuring user safety. Additionally, access to professional advice and support within the project can help individuals with disorders manage their consumption habits and possible treatments.

Züri Can Sales and Product Offerings

The Züri Can project offers a diverse range of cannabis products, including dried flower buds and hashish. The assortment features various THC to CBD ratios, allowing users to tailor the product to their preferences. All products must meet strict Swiss quality standards, including cultivation in line with medicinal plant agricultural practices and organic certification. The genotype variety reflects the diversity of effects users may desire, from Sativa-dominant strains to Indica.

Hash Varieties:

  • Sour Pollen (20% THC, 5% CBD, Sativa-dominant hybrid)
  • Lemon Resin (15% THC, 5% CBD, Indica-dominant hybrid)
  • Jura Gold (20% THC, 5% CBD, Sativa-dominant hybrid)
  • Grand Marais (15% THC, 10% CBD, Sativa-dominant hybrid)

Flower Strains:

  • Wedding Cake (20% THC, less than 1% CBD, Indica-dominant hybrid)
  • Cairo Dessert (12% THC, less than 1% CBD, Sativa-dominant hybrid)
  • Apricot Mimosa (9% THC, 8% CBD, Indica-dominant hybrid)
  • Super Lemon Haze (15% THC, less than 1% CBD, Sativa-dominant hybrid)
  • Sour Diesel (6% THC, 12% CBD, hybrid)

So far, all products have been purchased by Züri Can participants, totaling about 16,500 cannabis product units, including approximately 140 kg of cannabis in 5-gram packages (equivalent to 28,000 packages).

Preliminary Züri Can Conclusions

Cannavigia, a European cannabis cultivation company, collaborates with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health in a study aimed at tracking cannabis sales and providing consumption trend data through its Cannabis Distribution System.

According to Tobias Viegener, Cannavigia’s head of marketing, the preliminary Züri Can results already offer significant insights.

“The initial data from the pilot project ZüriCan, published this month, reveal promising insights about the functionality of a regulated cannabis market and its acceptance among participants,” he told Forbes. “This level of engagement indicates a positive reception and an effective distribution system, laying a solid foundation for future marijuana policy and regulation.”

(Featured image by Kindel Media via Pexels)

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