Swiss cannabis regulation takes next hurdle

On September 28, 2023, the National Council approved the extension of the parliamentary initiative of Bernese National Councilor Heinz Siegenthaler – “Regulation of the cannabis market for better youth and consumer protection, 20.473”.

Barbara Gysi heads the sub-commission that deals with the implementation of the initiative. On the debate, she holds out the prospect of “comprehensive regulation” and stresses that a good draft will still take time: “It’s really important and right to take enough time for this work.”[1]

The extension of the initiative was opposed by a right-wing minority. “The initiative, as it turns out, is contrary to international law” warned the Thurgau SVP national councilor Verena Herzog to her colleagues urgently. Legalizing cannabis, she said, would not lead to more protection of minors, but exactly the opposite.[2]

However, the National Council did not want to hear about this antiquated argumentation. It voted clearly in favor of the extension of the deadline for the preparation of a draft decree, with 104 votes in favor and 69 against. [3]

The project is favored by broad support in society and because of the planned regulation in Germany, which could come as early as January 2024.

In the election year 2023, the expectations of a rapid implementation were rather dampened at the industry association. The focus must now be on drafting a legislation in a timely manner and submitting it for consultation.

Sensible cannabis regulation forms the basis for youth and consumer protection, quality assurance as well as the fight against the black market and the sustainable development of the Swiss hemp industry, which mainly consists of small and medium-sized enterprises. Through targeted regulation, the potential of the cannabis plant can be exploited and Switzerland can act as a global pioneer for an adequate regulatory model.[4]

[1] 20.473 | Regulierung des Cannabismarktes für einen besseren Jugend- und Konsumentenschutz | Gysi Barbara | Votum | Das Schweizer Parlament


(3) 20.473 | Regulierung des Cannabismarktes für einen besseren Jugend- und Konsumentenschutz | Amtliches Bulletin | Das Schweizer Parlament

(4) Positionspapier zur Schweizerischen Cannabisregulierung – IG Hanf Schweiz

Lukas Brunner
Author: Lukas Brunner