I hear you are in Zurich. How’s the weed? - M. Entaler

The weed is… different. I am in Zurich for the International Cannabis Business Conference (disclosure: I work for them, and think they’re awesome) and the Cannatrade trade show (I don’t work for them, but they are also awesome). The good news: In Switzerland, you can buy weed at the store. They have a good selection of strains, the prices are reasonable (about $10/gram) and everything tastes pretty good. The bad news: THC is illegal, so all of the store-bought pot is high-CBD hemp and not the THC-laden cannabis we like to enjoy in the U.S. I have heard rumors that some shops will discreetly sell you some actual weed, but I haven’t tested the theory. I did manage to find some really good hash, so I have resorted to rolling joints that are a mixture of the CBD-weed and high-THC hash. Weird, yet effective.

Switzerland recently decriminalized cannabis; someone caught with a small amount of grass has to pay a fine of about $100. And the Swiss Legislature is looking to start trials and studies about the effects and safety of weed, expected to take 10 years. This appears to be a stalling tactic. The Swiss cannabis activists I met seem to think Switzerland will legalize cannabis in about three years. I hope they are correct.

Hey, did the bill that’s supposed to lower the cannabis taxes ever pass? - M.T. Purseanbowl

Nope. It’s not gonna pass this session. Last week, California’s AB 286 – which would have lowered the excise tax from 15 percent to 1 percent, and eliminated the cultivation tax completely – died for this session. It’s a shame. In an effort to maximize profits, the Bureau of Cannabis Control is pricing itself out of the cannabis game. The black market is thriving in California for a few reasons: Prices are too high at clubs, and more than half of the cities and counties in Cali still prohibit cannabis. The solution is simple though it may seem counterintutive: lowering taxes and expanding people’s access to high-quality and well-tested cannabis would create more revenue than keeping taxes high and forcing people that live in prohibition zones to rely on the traditional weed dealer for their pot. Sometimes, fast nickels are way more profitable than slow dimes.

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