Cannabis: France About to Officially Legalize CBD

In order to comply with European legislation, France presented today to the European Commission a draft decree authorizing the production and marketing of CBD, a non-psychotropic derivative of cannabis. However, the sale of flowers remains prohibited. The move comes after the high court of the European Union declared that France’s existing ban on the sale and production of CBD was unconstitutional.

France has just published a draft decree to the European Commission providing for the expansion of the use of the hemp plant, including the legalization of cannabidiol (CBD) oils.

The text, on which the Commission and the Member States must submit a detailed opinion within three months, also provides that “the authorization for the cultivation, import, export and industrial and commercial use of CBD is extended, under certain conditions, to all parts of the hemp plant.”

For more commercial and legal development news in the world of CBD, hemp, and cannabis, download our companion Hemp.Im cannabis news app.

CBD: A Non-Psychotropic Hemp Derivative

Until now, no official text authorized the marketing of hemp, other than in textile or cosmetic form. However, CBD was tolerated since November 19, 2020 and the opinion issued by the European Commission in the case “Kanavape”.

This one specified that CBD, the non-psychotropic derivative of cannabis, could not be considered as a narcotic, it could freely circulate in the European Union if it had been legally produced in one of the member countries.

However, it was still not possible for French farmers and industrialists to produce CBD on the national territory. Only the fibers and seeds of the plant could be exploited. “The complete procedure of notification to the European Commission can take up to six months, which would mean an official publication of the decree in January 2022” explains Ludovic Rachou, president of the Union of Industrialists for the Valorization of Hemp Extracts (UIVEC).

Especially since the professionals have no concerns about possible blocking of the decree by the Commission since it aims precisely to comply with European legislation.

A First Step Towards CBD Regulation

“This is only a first step in the French regulation on CBD, but it goes in the right direction and should dispel the debate since the order acts at the national level that CBD is not a drug. This is a great relief” adds Ludovic Rachou.

For industry representatives, the next step will be to clarify the standards applicable to different types of finished products (vaping oils, food products with CBD …). A work that promises to be complex, especially since it should ideally be completed before the end of the notification period of six months.

The Flowers and Leaves Officially Prohibited

The decree does not, however, bring good news for CBD-Shops and other tobacconists, since it specifies that “the sale to consumers of flowers or raw leaves in all their forms, alone or mixed with other ingredients, including as smoking products, teas or potpourri […] is prohibited.”

A decision that makes some CBD professionals jump for whom flowers can represent today up to half of their sales figures. “It is a text of ideological inspiration that sacrifices tens of thousands of consumers who have turned to CBD and its many therapeutic effects, including, as regards the flower, replacing THC!” indignant Charles Morel, lawyer and president of the young Union of CBD Professionals. If CBD should not be confused with therapeutic cannabis, which contains THC, there is still a debate on the properties of cannabidiol.

CBD Market Worth 700 Million Euros

“The only reason given by the Mildeca to justify the prohibition of the flower is the insufficient means allocated to police officers, gendarmes, and customs officers to equip them with tests capable of differentiating THC and CBD. But the cost of deploying these tests is tiny compared to the economic, health, and ecological benefits of the existence of a French CBD industry, from producer to consumer, “adds Charles Morel, who promises to engage in a legal battle in opposition to this order.

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(Featured image by Kris Karidis via Unsplash)

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First published in Les Echos, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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According to UIVEC, and even under these conditions, the French CBD market could represent nearly 700 million euros by 2022.

Avatar Helene Lindbergh

Helene Lindbergh is a published author with books about entrepreneurship and investing for dummies. An advocate for financial literacy, she is also a sought-after keynote speaker for female empowerment. Her special focus is on small, independent businesses who eventually achieve financial independence. Helene is currently working on two projects—a bio compilation of women braving the world of banking, finance, crypto, tech, and AI, as well as a paper on gendered contributions in the rapidly growing healthcare market, specifically medicinal cannabis.

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