Could Switzerland Become A Major European Pot Player?

Could Switzerland Become A Major European Pot Player?

Switzerland isn’t a European Union member, which creates a great opportunity to set rules that differ from other European countries. If the Swiss play their cards right, they could become a major player in the European cannabis industry.

While cannabis producers aren’t allowed to export their medical cannabis, several politicians are fighting for change. Exporting medical marijuana would be a huge deal for the Swiss economy. Because European Union members can’t set their own rules, Switzerland would likely be the lone European nation exporting marijuana, giving the country a significant advantage.

CBD Products in Switzerland

In 2011, Switzerland legalized the sale of cannabis with no more than 1 percent THC — a percentage that won’t get you high. This means that all products contain a high percentage of CBD. According to KannaSwiss, a legal cannabis producer, sales of CBD products have risen quickly the last few years.

It’s also rather easy to buy CBD products in Switzerland. The number of registered companies manufacturing or selling CBD has exploded. In January 2017, there were five. At the end of the same year, the country counted as many as 410 such companies. CBD products are now available in every local pharmacy, as well as in dispensaries.

A New Amsterdam?

The Netherlands is home to coffee shops where you can buy cannabis just like you would order a cup of coffee. Several cities are looking to launch pilot programs to test a similar coffee shop system in which THC strains would be allowed. If the programs are approved, Switzerland could begin attracting another type of tourist.

A Possible Setback

Recreational cannabis consumption is still illegal in neighboring countries like France. If you’re tested positive for driving under the influence of marijuana, you could go to prison for up to two years and be fined as much as $5,572. Since marijuana can be detected in your system long after you’ve used it, French tourists might want to avoid the risk of smoking during their Swiss vacation and just drive home instead.