Going Up In Smoke

Switzerland, land of chocolate, luxury watches and bank secrecy, has a new growth industry: the cultivation and sale of marijuana

For most Europeans, Switzerland is a conservative place of bank secrecy, chocolates and luxury watches. Now another product, cannabis, is on its way to becoming as quintessentially Swiss as the multifunction penknife. Berhard Machler is one man who appreciates the new trend in diversification. Machler is a manager and founding member of the Enetbrugg cooperative, a business north of Zurich that employs 200 people and racked up revenues of $5.5 million in 1999 by growing pot and selling it to the country's burgeoning network of legal hemp shops. The cooperative's revenues were lower last year, in part because the risks of...

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