I.D. Swiss Botanicals offers creams containing cannabis extracts. This is the new adventure of Babylon Sciences in a market where it is necessary to constantly explain and reassure.

"We're rebels but serious." This is one of the mottos, as provocative as it is evocative, of I.D. Swiss Botanicals, a new company with a telling name, based in Lausanne. I.D. as a phonetic wink to the little girl who runs in our mountains, Swiss to underline the quality and the seriousness of what is done here and Botanicals for the green effect. She is the one who recently marketed two creams (one day, one night), a serum and a mask with CBD. But it is in fact, the little sister of Avengarde (smoking flowers and CBD oils) and Natural Shelter (CBD products for animals sold at veterinarians), the first three "children" of Babylon Sciences.

Despite its English consonance and its obvious link to Jamaica, it is indeed a Vaud company, which has its premises in Lausanne. It was founded in 2018 by five friends and entrepreneurs of the place: Patrick Delarive, Cédric Rimella (ex-On My Way, dry cleaning company), Andreas Schollin-Borg (cleaning portal Batmaid, coworking spaces Gotham), Florent Bourachot (real estate start-up Neho) and a lawyer from Geneva who wishes to remain discreet. 

From the field to the smoke
Following the legalization of cannabis with less than 1% THC in 2016, the five buddies decide to enter this market, which had previously been occupied by opaque players. Their idea? Like market gardeners: control everything from the field to the plate, or rather from the field to the smoke. They want to grow quality hemp - whose genetics ensure values between 0.03% and 0.08% THC - organic and sell first flowers to smoke. 

Let us recall here the basic differences between cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC). The first one contains less than 1% of THC. It is legal and non-psychoactive. It is used in various forms for its relaxing virtues. It is now used in the composition of many derivative products, such as food supplements or cosmetics. The second is illegal, psychoactive and consumed recreationally. Its therapeutic use under medical control is progressing. 

"It was already at the very beginning of the adventure that we understood that nothing would be easy in this market," recalls Cedric Rimella, co-founder and CEO of Babylon Sciences. "CBD may be legal, but we are still far from being able to sell it like Haribo. We spend a lot of time explaining, reassuring. We are constantly judged. Socially, it is an extremely divisive subject. This confirmed to us that our scientific, transparent and local approach was the right one."

It's easy to imagine that obtaining the authorizations to grow 1500 m2 of hemp in a greenhouse on the heights of Vevey must have been anything but easy. Just like recruiting the right people to ensure a very high quality production," says the entrepreneur, whose bright and spacious Lausanne office is reminiscent of the most trendy start-ups. You can't find this kind of profile on LinkedIn!

Today Babylon Sciences produces 5 tons of natural and organic CBD whose THC content is genetically between 0.03% and 0.08%. The mastery is total, from cloning to harvesting through nursery and flowering. The sale of the flowers to be smoked and its derivatives, like flavoured oils, under the brand Avengarde, finances the 29 employees of Babylon Sciences and the research and developments of its new ranges.

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