CBD shops in France may have to throw away some of their products

CBD shops in France may have to throw away some of their products (illustrative photo from February 2, 2021 in Paris)

POLICY – France will authorize products based on CBD, the non-psychotropic molecule of cannabis to which relaxing virtues are attributed, but the sale of dried flowers and leaves will remain prohibited, AFP learned on Tuesday May 25 from Matignon .

The French ban on this “light cannabis”, also called “well-being hemp”, was invalidated by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in November, in the name of the free movement of goods. The judges had considered that the CBD is not a narcotic and that Paris could not prohibit the sale of plants and products authorized in other countries of Europe.

In the process of being rewritten for six months, the new regulations provide that “the authorization for the cultivation, import, export and industrial and commercial use of hemp” is “extended to all parts of the plant”, under reserves that its THC content – the psychotropic molecule of cannabis -, as well as that of finished products, is less than 0.2%, the Prime Minister’s services told AFP.

Dried flowers and leaves are prohibited

A decision which amounts to allowing French farmers to cultivate CBD for the manufacture of derivative products and clarifies the activity of specialized shops which hitherto operated in the dark and risked legal proceedings.

They will thus be authorized to sell various products – food, oils, cosmetics, e-cigarettes, etc. – based on CBD, but cannot market raw flowers. “The placing on the market of floral tops or raw leaves for smoking or in herbal tea is prohibited, as are products incorporating raw hemp,” said Matignon. A restriction “justified on grounds of public order and public health”.

“Raw CBD flowers are often smoked and mixed with tobacco, which is harmful to health”, decrypts for AFP a source familiar with the matter who also points out that authorizing the flowers “would have posed problems in the event of police control ”. Without analysis of the seized herb, it is impossible to know if the user has narcotic cannabis, high in THC, or “wellness” cannabis dominated by the CBD molecule.

The drafting of the new decree should be finalized soon, according to this source. The text must then be sent to the European Commission. The Member States of the European Union will then have “six months maximum” to ask questions of France before a possible publication in the official journal.

See also on Then24: Legalization of cannabis: the wet firecracker of presidents

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