Low-THC cannabis cigarettes will soon be available in the Swiss supermarket chain Coop.
Products with less than 1% tétrahydrocannabinol (THC) are not illegal in Switzerland, however their rapid rise in popularity has created controversy. Selling such products in supermarkets is a significant step in the product’s evolution.
Swiss cigarette manufacturer Heimat has come up with a new product which combines tobacco with low-THC cannabis. This new product will go on sale in Coop on 24 July 2017 at a price of CHF 19.90, according to 20 Minuten. The supermarket has set the minimum purchasing age at 18. According to 20 Minuten, Coop’s largest competitor Migros said it has no plans to follow Coop.
The manufacturer says they use 100% Swiss tobacco and a mixture of low-THC cannabis from Switzerland and abroad because they are unable to source enough in Switzerland.
The company says its hemp cigarettes can be consumed legally wherever smoking is permitted in Switzerland but warns against the cigarettes being taken abroad.
A spokesperson for Coop said that the chain already sells hemp-based products such as teas, beers, oils and spreads.
Heimat’s Roger Koch told 20 Minuten that a packet of 20 cigarettes contains 4 grams of cannabidiol (CBD) or 0.2 grams per cigarette.
Some are unhappy with the rising availability of such products. Andrea Geissbühler president of the foundation for a drug free world said: “Currently there is no study on the effects of CBD. I find that problematic.” Geissbühler. who is also a Swiss national councillor and member of the UDC/SVP, said that this puts young people at risk.
Regula Bur, a spokesperson for the Lung league, a Swiss group focused on promoting lung health, said: “The long term effects of CBD are unknown”, adding that cigarettes with legal cannabis damage lungs as much as other tobacco products.
Addiction Swiss, was also critical of the product. It thinks it is just another product containing nicotine, a highly addictive substance. Spokesperson Monique Portner pointed out that CBD-based products are less harmful when they aren’t smoked.