Lidl fight the revolution for us

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POSTED: May 3, 2018

Yesterday I read from several sources that Lidl have begun selling marijuana in the stores in Switzerland. For some reason I found this highly amusing. On the one hand, it reminded me, perhaps unfairly, of Tesco forcing Sunday trading in England by opening their stores on the Sundays leading up to Christmas, despite the fact that this broke the law, with the result that other stores felt forced to compete and the law looked foolish by the time the Christmas season had ended. On the other hand, I simply liked the historical incongruity of it.

Lidl, however, unlike Tesco, have Swiss law firmly on their side. According to the Daily Mail Online

Authorities in Switzerland passed a bill back in 2011 which allows people over 18 to purchase and use cannabis containing no more than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the plant’s psychoactive chemical.
But up until now the policy has not seen the nation’s supermarkets flocking to stock the legal high.

Lidl has become the first to give the new drug a run in its stores – in the hope that it will offer consumers an alternative to rolling tobacco.

The product, derived from hemp flowers, is being sold alongside regular tobacco products and can be found in a number of the German supermarket’s chains.

Fifty years ago nobody expected a major supermarket chain to lead the fight for normalisation, but then much has happened that we didn’t expect.

One of the first things I thought when I heard this involved branding. I both like and understand Lidl’s habit of inventing faux brands for various elements of its produce. It stops everything in the store looking the same and gives the illusion of a vast array of different kinds of goods. I wondered, therefore what approach Lidl had adopted to marketing dope.

Have they invented a new brand? What have they named it? Will it subtly remind me of The Grateful Dead?

Ah ha: they have called it Artur, which seems as good as anything, and better than some possibilities. Perhaps, my grand-children may live to see the fruits of Artur sold in Lidl in Finland. Perhaps not.

According to the Guardian

Lidl’s products are designed to provide a relaxing and anti-inflammatory effect, but not to be intoxicating.

The German supermarket said its supplier – The Botanicals, based in Thurgau, north-east Switzerland – was growing the cannabis plants indoors and in semi-automated greenhouses

“The manufacturer relies on sustainable agriculture and refrains entirely from adding chemical, synthetic or genetically modified substances,” a statement [from Lidl] said.

The product is said to be high on cannabidiol (CBD), an ingredient of the hemp plant. “The legally cultivable varieties contain only very small amounts of THC and a high proportion of CBD,”

How much does it cost, I hear you ask.

A 1.5g box, from plants grown indoors, costs 17.99 swiss francs (£13.20). A 3g bag is 19.99 Swiss francs, but is made from flowers grown in greenhouses.

The packs are on sale alongside cigarettes and cigars at the tills. The cost per cigarette is double that of tobacco roll-ups.

Did I hear someone mention thin edges and wedges? Or were they discussing historical inevitability?