>> Its fans call it marijuana lite, cannabis that carries a lower amount of THC than normal. That's the chemical in the plant that gets you high. Less than 1%, in fact, an amount that was made legal here in Switzerland back in 2011. But after a slow start, the industry for it is suddenly blazing.
Reuters' John Miller, in Zurich.>> What we've heard is people were cautious about it. Entrepreneurs were wary about what law enforcement response might be, and I suppose people also were unfamiliar with the product. But about the end of 2016, the Swiss Federal Customs Office told us that they saw a real hefty up tick in interest.
They say that just a handful of businesses had actual documentation in place in 2016, and that's gone up in just the first couple of months of 2017 to about 140.>> Authorities expect sales upwards of $30 million this year, but admit even that is a conservative estimate. This man is co-founder of one of the biggest sellers.
>> When we first were into it, a few kilos a week were being sold. Now we have orders and we have demands which are not being met, which people would like 700 kilos a month or more.>> Swiss police are having a hard time tracking it, and since normal pot is still illegal, they sometimes have to stop smokers just to check their variety.
So why the hype? Well, proponents say smoking an average amount produces an effect similar to a glass of wine, calming, and suggest it may find traction with fans who smoked in their youth, but have since scaled it back.>> Now of course, they offered us some samples, but for reasons of journalistic integrity, we decided to beg off.
So I can't personally tell you how the product works.>> Big gains for this budding industry.