Unknown to many, a cannabis “grey market” once flourished in Switzerland as the cannabis community utilized a loophole in the country’s narcotics law from the late 1990s until the government shut it down in 2014. In 2016, a new market was formed when Switzerland reformed its law to allow the cultivation of hemp with up to 1% THC. Swiss cannabis flowers are now sold as a tobacco substitute and more than 600 companies are registered to produce CBD-based flowers, oils, edibles, and other products. The current and future Swiss cannabis markets will be topics at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin, and, of course, Zurich (where the ICBC is teaming up with CannaTrade for a superconference). Switzerland is now making progress towards fully legalizing cannabis and a pilot project has been proposed in the Swiss Parliament to study how the nation may eventually fully end prohibition, as reported by Marijuana Business Daily:

According to an amendment of Switzerland’s Narcotics Act currently before the country’s Parliament, the pilot project would allow up to 5,000 people to use a variety of recreational cannabis products.

The objective of the study is to gather scientific knowledge on the use of non-medical cannabis, including socioeconomic aspects such as employment, family, public safety and the illicit market for drugs.

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It also:

  • Prohibits the transmission of cannabis products to third parties.

  • Limits the amount of cannabis-based products a trial participant can acquire to no more than they can consume in one month.

  • Suggests pharmacies and cannabis social clubs as potential points of sale.

Switzerland is somewhat flying under the radar as a cannabis industry hotspot, but the country is poised to become a big player in the international scene, especially with the CBD market expanding so rapidly around the world. If the Swiss Parliament wisely legalizes cannabis, including high-THC strains, the rest of the globe will quickly be put on notice.