Switzerland is looking for a new approach to cannabis. To contribute to this debate, addiction specialists and representatives of the Swiss hemp industry are proposing a model for regulating cannabis, adapted to the Swiss Confederation. Developed between Geneva and Lausanne, it offers a vision similar to the one recently adopted in Canada. Above all focused on public health, it also allows a local industry to grow while respecting sustainable development goals.

Today, Western countries are experiencing changes in cannabis-related policies. Many of them, including Switzerland, are considering new ways to manage the problems associated with this substance. Beyond the diversity of models adopted at the international level, a consensus is developing around the need to go beyond the traditional approach to cannabis prohibition. To fuel and nourish this debate, addiction prevention professionals (GREA) and CBD producers (IG Hanf) have come up with a joint approach to regulating the Swiss cannabis market, protecting public health and youth, while providing the framework conditions for a local cannabis industry to exist. This makes it possible to answer many technical questions that may arise and proposes a scenario that is directly applicable to Switzerland.
The first experiences of legalization in the United States have highlighted the challenges of overly open regulation, with the emergence of new players who are pushing for consumption. This type of offer, like what is happening in the tobacco sector or sometimes in the industrial food sector, is not desirable. On the contrary, the future regulation of cannabis must guarantee a substantial gain in terms of protecting public health. From this point of view, a market composed of local products supplied by local actors who can understand the complexity of the problem is preferable to a free market, dominated by multinationals.
Limiting advertising, taxation of products according to their dangerousness, protection of minors, promotion of low-risk consumption patterns, control through a national agency, the regulatory model developed by GREA and IG Hanf demonstrates that it is possible to reconcile economic and health requirements. After decades of opposition between industry and prevention (alcohol, tobacco), new alliances are beginning to emerge, particularly with small local producers. Following the example of Swiss wine growing, these two such different worlds can now meet, in part, on the vision of a responsible and controlled Swiss market.


Cédric Heeb, board member, IG Hanf – info@ighanf.ch, 022 312 34 34 34
Jean-Félix Savary, Secretary General, GREA – jf.savary@grea.ch, 079 345 73 19

Appendix: Regulatory model (RegulationCannabis_FR_v2018.10.30 in French), Regulatory model (RegulierungCannabis_DE_v2018.10.30 in German)

Press Release (CP_Un modèle pour la Suisse_29102018v3 in French), Press Release (Cannabis: «Schützen und Kontrollieren» – ein Modell für die Schweiz_29102018v3 in German)

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