Last week, a court in Switzerland ruled that the sale of CBD flower will now carry a 25% tax. Many in the industry fear this will ruin small businesses and deter local entrepreneurs.
Despite calls from the Swiss cannabis industry for a 12% tax, CBD flower will be taxed in the same bracket as tobacco products – 25% on retail price.
Meanwhile, suppliers will pay 38 francs ($37.90) per kilogram, the court decided, upholding a law that was established in 2017.
Additionally, businesses will be made to pay the tax monthly, based on the forecast of the coming month.
Jonas Duclos, Co-Founder and CEO of Swiss-based JKB Research SA, said, “This type of tax is killing small entrepreneurs. No other industry is due to pay taxes monthly.”
Cannabis with less than 1% THC has been legal in Switzerland for some time, where it is sold in specialised CBD “dispensaries”, newsagents/tobacconists, and even supermarkets like Lidl.
This has allowed the country to become become leader of the fast-growing CBD flower market.
In fact, most of the CBD flower on sale in the UK is grown in Switzerland.
CBD unfairly grouped with tobacco
Duclos believed the new ruling is “unfair” and that CBD should not be put in the same box as tobacco.
“Tobacco is addictive with its nicotine, and also more harmful to health than CBD. The appeal was totally justified, and this is something that should be considered by the Supreme Court,” he said.
Duclos also pointed out that CBD flower is often not even smoked, but rather used to make infusions or added to food.
What this means for CBD flower in the UK
As previously mentioned, a lot of the high-grade CBD flower available in the UK originates from Switzerland.
Does this mean that the 25% tax on CBD flower could inflate the price over here? It’s possible.
But then again, Italy is also experiencing a boom in the cultivation of ‘legal’ CBD-rich cannabis, with many UK shops already sourcing their CBD weed from Italy.
Therefore, we see little chance of a price hike over here in the UK. In fact, a number of shops, such as Hemphash, are already offering high-grade CBD flower for £5/6 per gram.