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Is it legal to grow cannabis in Switzerland?

Is it legal to grow cannabis in Switzerland?

Is it legal to grow cannabis in Switzerland?

Is it legal to grow cannabis in Switzerland?

It is possible to grow cannabis in Switzerland, but not all kinds, not everyone, and not everywhere.

The legislation governing cannabis is both federal and cantonal. Here is a brief overview of the laws governing the cultivation of cannabis in Switzerland.

Can I grow cannabis with more than 1% THC?

Nope. It is not possible for the general public to grow cannabis with more than 1% THC. This practice is potentially legal on the condition of holding an authorization from the FOPH, which can in theory be obtained for three reasons: scientific research, a limited medical application, or the development of drugs.

To obtain this authorisation, a certain number of documents must be sent to the FOPH, including an extract from the commercial register. It is therefore not possible for personal medical use to send a request for the cultivation of plants containing THC. In reality, this authorization subject to inspection by the FOPH is extremely restricted. Indeed, since cannabis is almost not authorized for medical use in Switzerland (by prescription), apart from the preparation Sativex, from the FOPH’s point of view, there is no need for cannabis plantations with THC. Moreover, this authorization does not give the right to sell it, nor to consume it, since above 1% of THC cannabis becomes a drug governed by the law on narcotics.

We also specify that seeds potentially containing flowers with more than 1% THC are illegal in Switzerland in the same way as a ready-to-eat flower.. There is therefore no point in provoking the authorities by using the excuse of the seed collection. This is why it is not recommended to germinate seeds found in a CBD packet. Indeed, it is not guaranteed that the plant will contain less than 1% THC, and you could find yourself in an illegal situation without your knowledge. We advise you to fall back on stable seeds or cuttings sold in reputable shops to avoid a bad surprise.

Can I grow cannabis with less than 1% THC?

Yes. It is legal to grow cannabis with less than 1% THC, including for individuals. Federal legislation is very flexible in this area and discharges its regulation (almost) entirely to the cantons on the one hand, and to the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) on the other.
Below is a text taken from the confederation website briefly explaining its position on the issue:

Cultivation of hemp with a THC content of less than 1%

Under Annex 6, Article 5 of the Agreement between the Swiss Confederation and the European Community on trade in agricultural products (RS 0.916.026.81), Switzerland allows the marketing on its territory of seeds of the hemp varieties admitted in the Community (european catalog). In addition, let us mention that:

  • The FOAG and the FOPH do not issue any special authorization for the cultivation of hemp.
  • Feeding livestock with hemp is prohibited.

For any additional questions relating to hemp cultivation, please contact:

What cannabis can be grown on agricultural land?

Only hemp. Indeed, cultivation on useful agricultural land is very supervised, right down to authorized seeds. It is actually not possible to grow cannabis with more than 0.2% THC on an agricultural plot, since the only seeds that are legal to plant/buy are those from the European catalogue. However, the seeds of the European catalog are governed by European law which does not authorize cannabis with more than 0.2% THC. In reality on agricultural land it is not possible to grow cannabis, only hemp.

If the farmer receives direct payments, he will have to declare that he is growing cannabis as he would declare other varieties.

Depending on the cantons, the announcement of hemp cultivation on agricultural land is recommended, compulsory, or not subject to announcement. The canton of Bern, for example, does not impose the declaration of hemp cultivation, unlike the canton of Vaud. We advise you to report to your municipality or local authorities to ensure the legality of your plantation. Indeed, as mentioned on the site of the Confederation, there is no authorization (and therefore no prohibition), so you lose nothing by announcing yourself.

Finally in Switzerland, it is very difficult to become a farmer or to have the right to exploit an agricultural area, but it is by far not a necessity to become a cannabis grower. Indeed, exploiting agricultural land to cultivate CBD cannabis at less than 1% THC is the most limited and controlled method, and therefore the most inadvisable.

What cannabis can an individual grow?

The individual is less restricted, on the condition that he does not cultivate on agricultural land, and that he remains below the 1% THC mark. The legislation to which he must refer is that of his canton. The majority of them have no rules for individuals, just as there are none for growing tomatoes or basil.
On your balcony, in your vegetable garden or in your closet, you are free to cultivate!

One of the most restrictive cantons is Saint-Gall, which imposes the announcement to the authorities of any cultivation of more than 10 plants. Again, this announcement is not made in exchange for an authorization, because on a federal level, there is no authorization to cultivate CBD cannabis. You can therefore always call your canton or your municipality to find out the legislation in force in your country since as an individual they will not be able to prevent you from cultivating. The cantons of Vaud, Bern or Valais, for example, do not impose any constraints on individuals.

Can the authorities differentiate between a cannabis crop with more or less than 1% THC?

Yes. There are rapid tests that law enforcement can use to determine if the cannabis plant (in flower) contains more or less than 1% THC.

In the event of a check or search, the police will know immediately that your cannabis contains less than 1% THC and you will not be prosecuted for a narcotics violation.

What if I can’t prove that it’s not cannabis with less than 1% THC (if it’s not in flower for example or if it’s seeds) ?

If you can’t clear the suspicion, because your plants aren’t in bloom, for example, you could find yourself in a sticky situation, depending heavily on your attitude, background, and law enforcement.

In order to protect yourself, we advise you to report to the authorities near you. You are within your rights. Announcing that you are planting CBD will not provoke any reaction since it is not even mandatory, but it could be useful in the event of a subsequent control, or theft.

If the suspicions against you are very serious, it is possible that your cultivation material will be seized. If you are in possession of a driving licence, it is also possible that you will be reported to the automobile services (SAN) who will carry out a preventive withdrawal of your licence. To get it back, you will have to submit to drug tests to prove your sobriety. This will cost you several hundred francs and can take many months until all suspicion is cleared.

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