remains by far the most widely consumed drug in Switzerland, even though the
market value is much lower than that of cocaine, the researchers found.
published Thursday by several groups, including Addiction Switzerland, estimates the value of the
national cannabis market at 500 million Swiss francs ($516 million).
But in the
canton of Vaud, where the study was carried out, the figures show that the
total value of the market was about half that of cocaine – a result which,
according to Frank Zobel, co-director of Addiction Switzerland, came as a
thought cannabis was the biggest market in every sense of the word,” he
told the Keystone news agency. “However, the turnover is lower than that
of cocaine, even if it is still much higher than that of other drugs”.
the total volume of cannabis sold in Switzerland exceeds that of all other
drugs: it is estimated that between 40 and 60 tonnes are smoked each year
throughout the country. In the canton of Vaud alone, with a population of
800,000, the equivalent of about 50,000 cannabis joints are consumed every day.
Kicking it again
As far as
the products on offer are concerned, researchers point to a diverse and
changing landscape where “you can find everything”, as Zobel says.
hashish is making a comeback after decades of the popularity of locally grown
marijuana leaves. The hashish available in Switzerland comes almost exclusively
from Morocco, the report notes, and generally contains high levels of
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis that
gives the sensation of high).
products on the Swiss market include a cocktail of illegal cannabis (with high
levels of THC) mixed with legal cannabidiol (CBD), a development that Zobel
says is due to increasingly lower prices on the legal market.
CBD can be
extracted from hemp or marijuana and is sold in the form of gels, oils,
extracts, gums and the like, but does not cause the same kind of
“high” like THC.
As for the
consumers themselves, the researchers found that heavy users are the market
drivers: half of the consumption is by “regular” smokers (20 or more
days per month), who account for 9% of all consumers.