When the International Cannabis Business Conference teamed up with CannaTrade and made its first visit to Zurich this year, it was evident that Switzerland’s experience legalizing cannabis, albeit with a 1% THC limit, has been a success. The innovative country legalized cannabis with limited amounts of THC in 2011 and decriminalized possession soon thereafter, and has quickly become an international leader in high-CBD, low-THC cannabis, exporting all over the world. These cannabis reforms have brought more freedom and jobs to the Swiss people, and the revenue generated from legal sales has continued to climb, breaking records by shattering the sales numbers from just a few years ago.
The Local reported on the record-breaking revenue and a potential government scientific trial that could pave the way to full legalization
Tax revenues from legal cannabis as a tobacco alternative hit 15.1 million francs (€13.5 million) last year, up from just 400,000 three years earlier, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) told Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung.
Most smokers of the products are young, a survey from Addiction Switzerland suggests. Respondents touted the benefits of their active component cannabidiol (CBD), saying it helped with sleep problems and stress, while promoting well-being.
In February, the Swiss government came out in support of scientific trials into the impact of cannabis use on public health and safety. Under the plans, thousands of people could ‘legally’ receive a small amount of cannabis every month, including edibles, while participating in those trials.
Since the medicinal benefits of CBD have moved into the mainstream and on a path to garner more and more attention, it is very likely that Swiss cannabis sales will continue to climb over the coming years. The only question is when will the Swiss government allow high-THC cannabis strains and products hit the market as well. Switzerland has a big opportunity to continue its leadership in the CBD realm and expand its market before most of its European neighbors provide any serious competition. The International Cannabis Business Conference will be returning to Switzerland next year to help the industry continue its momentum and I suspect that I’ll be writing about record-breaking sales and a bright future ahead for the cannabis community once again.
Before the International Cannabis Business Conference makes a return to Europe, we have a few stops first, including Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, this September 15-16. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn the latest and network with top investors and entrepreneurs. Be sure to secure your spot and save some hard-earned money by purchasing discounted, early bird tickets by August 21st.