Swiss Court Kills Cannabis-Lovers’ Buzz With 25% Tax
(Bloomberg) -- A Swiss court has killed some of the buzz for cannabis lovers in the Alpine country.
The sale of cannabis flowers in Switzerland will be taxed at 25 percent, the same levy that currently applies to tobacco, because the drug’s floral buds are smoked in a similar way to cigarettes, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court ruled in a March 11 decision.
As the decriminalization of marijuana becomes more commonplace in Europe and North America, the Swiss decision could prove an interesting test-case of how governments should tax marijuana products. Cannabis with less than 1 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical that gets you high, has been widely available in tobacco stores in Switzerland since 2017. Possession of up to 10 grams of the more potent variety carries a 100 Swiss franc ($99) fine.
Attempts by retailers and manufacturers to persuade the Swiss courts to levy the 12 percent tax imposed on other tobacco products was rejected by the court, it said. In practice, the tax rate for cannabis flowers will be 38 francs per kilogram and 25 percent of the retail price, according to the court.
The decision can still be appealed to the Swiss Supreme Court.
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