Heimat fights for CBD legalisation in Bermuda
Koch & Gsell, the tobacco company from Eastern Switzerland, launched the world’s first industrially manufactured cigarette containing a blend of tobacco and CBD hemp in the summer of 2017. The product caused a stir across the globe. Koch & Gsell received a huge number of enquiries from companies worldwide who wanted to import the product. The complex and often unclear legal situation surrounding the sale of hemp products made negotiations extremely difficult.
Bermudian entrepreneurs and founders of Infinity Hemp Bermuda, Kwan Smith and Andre Marshall, received authorisation to import Heimat CBD cigarettes in 2018. The first packs of hemp cigarettes were shipped from Switzerland to Bermuda in the spring of 2018 and sold in a number of different retail outlets. However, in autumn of the same year, the Bermudian police seized the imported Heimat hemp products.
Infinity Hemp Bermuda and Koch & Gsell viewed the seizure as unlawful, as hemp products with a CBD content of 1% are not classified as narcotics – a situation very similar to the one in Switzerland. With the support of Koch & Gsell, Infinity Hemp Bermuda took legal action. The Parliament of Bermuda debated the issue of the legality of hemp products at the start of November 2019, and came to the decision that the seizure of the Heimat hemp products was not legally warranted. David Burt, Prime Minister of Bermuda, added that the decision would put an end to the unfair treatment of hemp companies by the Bermudian police. Heimat hemp products can now be legally exported again from Switzerland and sold in Bermuda.
Story in the Bermudian press:
Timeline of events
July 2017 Swiss start-up Koch & Gsell launches the world’s first tobacco-and-hemp cigarette, which causes a stir across the world.
January 2018 Kwan Smith and Andre Marshall from Infinity Hemp Bermuda contact Koch & Gsell. Import negotiations for Heimat CBD cigarettes begin.
March 2018 First shipment of Heimat hemp cigarettes to Bermuda.
October 2018 The Bermudian police seize the Heimat hemp cigarettes. Supported by Koch & Gsell, Infinity Hemp Bermuda takes legal action, as they are of the view that the hemp products they imported can be legally sold within the existing legal framework.
November 2019 The Parliament of Bermuda debates the issue. It reaches the decision that the seizure of the Heimat hemp products was not warranted, and that hemp products with a CBD content of less than 1% can be legally sold in Bermuda.