Lidl starts selling locally grown CANNABIS in its Swiss stores
- The sale of regulated cannabis was legalised by the Swiss government in 2011
- The product is being sold alongside traditional tobacco products in the store
- It is derived from hemp flowers and contains less THC than regular cannabis
Lidl is offering locally grown cannabis to Swiss customers alongside rolling tobbacco after a regulation change made it possible to stock legal marijuana.
Authorities in Switzerland passed a bill back in 2011 which allows people over 18 to purchase and use cannabis containing no more than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the plant’s psychoactive chemical.
But up until now the policy has not seen the nation’s supermarkets flocking to stock the legal high.
Lidl has become one of the first to give the new drug a run in its stores – in the hope that it will offer consumers an alternative to rolling tobacco.
The product, derived from hemp flowers, is being sold alongside regular tobacco products and can be found in a number of the German supermarket’s chains.
Lidl’s new cannabis offering is one of the first in Switzerland to hit the shelves after the Co-op started selling it last year
The new variety of cannabis is less strong than traditional versions and is manufactured in a controlled labratory
A 1.5g box, from plants grown indoors, costs 17.99 Swiss francs (£13.20). A 3g bag is 19.99 Swiss francs, but is made from flowers grown in greenhouses.
In fact, the cost per cigarette of the legalized cannabis is more than double that of tobacco roll-ups.
Lidl’s products are designed to provide a relaxing and anti-inflammatory effect, but not to be intoxicating.
The German supermarket said its supplier – The Botanicals, based in Thurgau, north-east Switzerland – was growing the cannabis plants indoors and in semi-automated greenhouses.
‘The manufacturer relies on sustainable agriculture and refrains entirely from adding chemical, synthetic or genetically modified substances,’ a statement said.
The product is said to be high on cannabidiol (CBD), an ingredient of the hemp plant. ‘The legally cultivable varieties contain only very small amounts of THC and a high proportion of CBD,’ Lidl said.
Switzerland’s 2011 law change, designed to open up the availability of medicinal cannabis, has only recently been seized upon by commercial operators.
Switzerland’s customs agency, which collects taxes from cannabis product sales, recorded an increase in registered retailers from a ‘handful’ in 2015 to more than 140 in the last year. In 2017 about £18m in tax was collected on sales of £73m.
The Swiss supermarket chain Coop – unrelated to the UK brand – was the first to sell cannabis cigarettes last year.
The charity Addiction Suisse has raised concern that CBD can modify the function of the placenta during pregnancy.
The supermarket chain said the products very small amount of the hallucinogenic chemical THC made it safe for consumers
There are two varieties of the product on offer – one box costing £13 and one costing around £15
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