Spanish Court References European Decision On CBD

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A Spanish lawsuit acquitting a CBD store owner in Spain becomes the first legal judgment in the country to reference the EU decision that the cannabinoid is not a narcotic.

Legal eagles are paying attention to an interesting Spanish case this month which is likely to be as influential in the country in terms of setting precedent for CBD sales as the French vape case. 

According to legal counsel, Joan Bertomeu of the Brotsanbert law firm which defended the store, “This ruling is very important because, contrary to what the Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office and the Medicines Agency maintain, it is clear that the hemp flower, with low THC content and prevalence of CBD, cannot be considered a narcotic because it does not produce an effect and, therefore, cannot be considered criminally taxable.”

An overview of the case

Much like other CBD precedent cases around Europe, this saga began on August 14, 2018, after two Civil Guards inspected the Valencia-based store. While none of the product on sale violated European limits on THC in the plants and other products on sale to the public, there was hashish and marijuana in a private office that was for personal consumption. The defendant also purchased the for-sale products legally with invoices that were produced in court.

The judge recognized the recent judgment of November 19, 2020, in the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Other Precedents in Europe

The Brotansbert law firm, which is becoming known for activist cases in Spain (they also represented Albert Tio, the Spanish cannabis club activist) is clearly looking for these kinds of cases in the country, and even better, winning them. They are joining other law firms across the region in defending clients from conflicting regulations as the impact of the EU CBD case ripples through impactful court cases and thus precedent.

While this case is very much like the case in France where the sellers of CBD vapes imported from another EU country also were acquitted, there is one case which is not like this. The recent German hemp case is NOT like either the Spanish or French cases in that while the federal court did not convict, they remanded the case back to the lower court because the seller violated the rule on hemp levels in the EU.

In the meantime, it is very clear that the EU precedent on hemp is shaking through national legal systems at minimum via legal battles and victories if not national legislative action. That push must come from the industry.

Be sure to book your tickets now to the International Cannabis Business Conference when it returns to Berlin in August 2021.

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