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The Business with the Stoners

You can see it, hear it and smell it. This industry comes with a youth cultural Flair. Strikingly colorful, some of the suits at this conference. Among the Participants of the one or the other barf is liquid with a Rasta hairstyle. On the Podium, and in the conversations, the sometimes hot-tempered, often raw language is striking. Out on the balcony with circulating early in the Joints.

Welcome to International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), which went the day before yesterday in the Zurich luxury hotel Atlantis for the first Time on the stage. 300 mostly young industry representatives from 30 countries to hear in this well-maintained environment Panels, exchange numbers, and try products. For a Ticket, you have paid almost 600 francs.

The U.S. ICBC-founder Alex Rogers says: "Great, this Cannabis-your entrepreneurs. And all in a suit." In this exhibition, an industry that within a few years to the global billion-dollar business is to grow, it shows. Rogers says: "Switzerland is about to become the European Cannabis hub." For the past five years, Rogers has hosted the ICBC in Berlin, Barcelona, Vancouver, and San Francisco. And now in Zurich.

200 large customers in Europe

Among the listeners in the room are also numerous Zurich entrepreneurs. Benjamin Steffen is 29 years old and, together with its business partners, Gregory and Patrick Nötzli in Altstetten-based company Cannaflora. Your business is in the CBD-hemp, that were in Switzerland, in the meantime, in a number of Smoke and food-occurring cannabis product that does not high, because it contains less than 1 percent THC. The active substance Cannabidiol is said to have relaxing and healing effect. Cannaflora sold seedlings, marijuana, flowers and extracts in Europe for over 200 major customers.

the business with the CBD would be Allowed since 2011. At that time, the Federal government increased the threshold to 1 per cent, in order to facilitate the production of industrial hemp. As from 2012, US States began to allow Cannabis, were also the Swiss companies active in experimenting with CBD. In 2016, the first CBD-Joint was in Switzerland over the counter. After that, it went uphill steeply.

"The business has professionalized within the last year," says Steffen. The gold-rush mood in the course of which each and everyone could easily earn money, is over. Who could not be expected, was quickly declined. But Cannaflora has fifteen-fold in the one and a half years of their existence their revenue according to their own information. 600'000 Swiss francs to put in the month, says Steffen. The company was recently estimated at 6 million francs.

"The Swiss CBD market is only a precursor to the trade with THC Cannabis."Alex Rogers, ICBC-founder

The business people, the growth, professionalization – they point to something that comes on the podiums at the conference almost always to language: the Swiss CBD market is only a precursor to the trade with THC-containing Cannabis. "The industry is ready, the infrastructure available," says Steffen. "Switzerland is a laboratory for the European market," says the organizer of Rogers. For him, it is clear that legalization is only a matter of time.

Swiss experts on Addiction say that the current CBD Boom contributed to a normalisation of hemp. And a step towards legalization could mean. They warn, however, that such must be carefully and closely regulated, planned. For example, a limitation of sales outlets, with strict rules or legal Advertising.

For Steffen, it is now a question of Know-how to exchange in a business in which much is unregulated. A reason for this: Within a few years, the sector of the illegality has turned into the legality of a reverse image. With the same participating dealers and producers. Infrastructure is not or only rudimentarily available, rules.

This had led to sometimes absurd situations in cooperation with the authorities, says Steffen: When the police have once visited your office due to water damage, you want to immediately took a part of the range hardware. Or he tells of CBD-rich lip balm that have a different company from the market. And 20 tons of CBD-Grass, which had been lying at customs in Chiasso, because none of the officials knew the legal position.

5000 to 8000 Employees

Many of those who work in the industry, will be informed of their heads about the legal circumstances. Observers estimate the number of in the CBD-market employees between 5000 and 8000. It was in production, further processing or in the manufacture of machinery.

According to a rough estimate of the Federal customs administration (FCA), the industry-around 60 million francs in revenue per year. Since the tobacco is expensive in small quantities of 25 percent, earned the state with a CBD-containing Cannabis per year, about 15 million Swiss francs. With this amount, the FCA expects for the coming years, as she writes on request.

the impression of booming business at the conference, the main speaker, and former Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. "There's a wave coming," says the 71-Year-old, who was at that time under President Reagan, and today for the legalization of Cannabis use. "And you all represent the wave." The crowd applauds.

More than 20 million Followers

An important reason why Switzerland is well on his to said hub for cannabis trading, is the psychoactive ingredient THC. With one percent of the limit in this country is five times higher than the permitted in the surrounding countries. Because of the breeding, the height of the CBD corresponds with the THC content, reach the Swiss breeders are generally more potent Grass. In the case of export goods, the THC is removed in a chemical manner, such that only the high CBD value remains. "The experiment with powerful Grass Switzerland gave a knowledge advantage," says Steffen.

For the Swiss lead the Zurich-based firm of consultants, High Life Media Consulting. Your Social Media platforms more than 20 million Followers. A cannabis company attention, wants to get to High Life. The company advises retailers and operators in Social Media questions. This is important, says its founder, Marco Cadisch, as Facebook and Google allowed the advertising of such products.

investors knocking at

How quickly the business is changing, also show major foreign corporations with names like Aurora or Tilray, the push is currently in Switzerland. Novartis, is received according to the "handelszeitung" a strategic partnership with a major canadian retailer. In the United States and in Canada, the tobacco multinationals to mix with in the business. Also Cannaflora already large knocks investors. But for the time being, you want to know in the small Zurich-based company none of that.

That it would in this country, but to Takeovers, it is the ICBC agreement. Also, that the industry will change. So you will see probably once different and also different to listen to. Polished, adjusted, adult might. Sure is: Youthful, you will also smell then.


Created: 17.05.2019, 22:15 PM

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