Cannabis is often traded illegally as marijuana/weed (dried cannabis flowers) or hashish (cannabis resin). These banned substances contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC has an intoxicating effect and can be hazardous to health.
The decisive factor for classification as a banned drug is how much THC is contained in a cannabis product. If the THC content exceeds one per cent, the product is prohibited. Hashish is prohibited regardless of its THC content.
If you are caught using cannabis, you may be given a fixed penalty fine of 100 francs.
What is tolerated?
If you are caught in possession of a small amount of cannabis (no more than 10 grams) for your own consumption, you will not be fined. In addition, if you supply (but do not sell) up to 10 grams to an adult, e.g. when sharing joints, you will not be fined.
Cannabis products are allowed if they contain less than one per cent THC. Examples are hemp flowers, scented oils, ointments and drops that are ingested.
You are also allowed to grow hemp privately provided the THC content of the cannabis strain is less than one per cent.
Rules for low-THC cannabis and CBD
Even in the case of low-THC cannabis products, suppliers in particular have to comply with a range of regulations. The rules also apply to the non-intoxicating active ingredient cannabidiol (CBD). The Confederation has produced a leaflet on products containing CBD, aimed primarily at suppliers.
Issues related to legal cannabis
Even legal cannabis with a total THC content of less than one per cent can get you into trouble with the law.
When abroad: In some other countries, including countries neighbouring Switzerland, stricter laws and lower maximum THC levels apply. This means cannabis products that are legal in Switzerland may be prohibited abroad. Please check directly with the authorities of the countries concerned if you intend to take cannabis or related products abroad.
When driving: You are not allowed to drive if you have THC in your bloodstream. Even the use of legal cannabis can result in a measurable level of THC in your blood. So you should not drive after consuming cannabis or related products.
Medicines containing cannabis must be licensed. In Switzerland, only Sativex® is currently approved. Doctors are allowed to prescribe this product in certain cases of multiple sclerosis. It contains THC, but also a substance that inhibits its intoxicating effect.
The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) may also grant exceptional approval for the prescription of cannabis-based medicinal products in response to an application from a doctor in a specific case.