Under pressure from the EU, which declared France’s CBD ban unconstitutional, France is about to authorize the sale of CBD, a substance derived from cannabis but containing no THC, the psychotropic substance unless it is in the form of flowers or leaves. A new decree will allow two thousand French hemp growers to find new outlets and fight against the competition from producers in the East.
After months of legal battle, France has decided to legalize CBD. A decree should soon officially authorize the sale of products containing cannabidiol. A victory for the advocates of this substance derived from hemp, with allegedly soothing properties but containing no (or very little) THC, the psychotropic molecule of cannabis.
After months of legal battle, France has decided to legalize CBD. A decree should soon officially authorize the sale of products containing cannabidiol. A victory for the advocates of this substance from hemp, with allegedly soothing properties but containing no (or very little) THC, the psychotropic molecule of cannabis.
A New French Governmental Order
To take into account these decisions, the French government has presented a new decree, currently submitted for consultation to Brussels. This one confirms the possibility of selling products containing CBD. Above all, it changes the situation for French hemp producers. Until now, they could only exploit the seeds and fibers of the plant. They will now be able to harvest the flowers that concentrate the CBD to extract it, opening the door to a production “made in France”.
“It is a change that we expected and will allow the 2,000 French hemp growers to find new outlets and fight against the growing competition from producers in the East, “says Ludovic Rachou, president of the Union of Industrialists for the development of hemp extracts (UIVEC).
A market of 700 million euros
French manufacturers of CBD products will now be able to use local production. With the hope of further developing a booming market that already weighs 700 million euros per year, through a wide range available in specialty stores but also in tobacco and mass distribution. Carrefour, for example, markets “natural hemp oil with CBD” and Monoprix offers a wide range, from “hemp tea” to “relaxing chewing gum”.
If the hemp industry is rather satisfied with the new decree, it is not at all the case of the other side of the sector, that of hundreds of small stores that have swarmed in recent months on the territory to offer CBD products. Their name, often, already gives the tone, playing much more the association with cannabis than with the pharmacy: Paris-Jeanne, 1001 herbs, High Society, Green Heaven …
French Decree to Outlaw Sale of Flowers
If these shops sell many products containing CBD extracts, a good part of their turnover is actually made with flowers. Officially, these are intended to serve as “potpourri” or “ornamental flowers” and are often accompanied by a warning that deceives no one: “Do not smoke.” Yet that’s what the vast majority of buyers will be quick to do.
“This light cannabis, which can even be found in some tobacco shops, is an extremely profitable product, leaving huge margins. That’s why it attracts so much,” explains a connoisseur of the market. The decree prepared by the French government does not intend to legalize this practice. On the contrary, it prohibits in black and white “the sale to consumers of flowers or raw leaves in any form, alone or mixed with other ingredients, including as smoking products, herbal teas or potpourri.
Health and safety arguments
For representatives of small CBD stores, it is a cold shower. “The text bunkerizes a practice of prohibition and threatens the activity of hundreds of companies,” offended Charles Morel, president of the French Union of CBD professionals. Lawyer, it promises to continue the legal battle of the Council of State to European authorities to defend “a healthy, ecological and turned to the well-being.
The French government, for its part, notes that the court decisions authorizing CBD does not prevent the supervision of its use. To support its desire to ban the trade of flowers, it puts forward two arguments. Sanitary, first of all, because the flowers and leaves will be smoked most of the time, which is obviously not without consequences on the health. Safety, above all, because the forces of order would then have great difficulty in sorting out between a smoker of illicit cannabis and a smoker of cannabis without THC.
(Featured image by CRYSTALWEED Cannabis via Unsplash )
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First published in La Croix a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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