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The French CBD Market

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Highest French Court Freezes Ban on CBD flowers and leaves. Does this mean an ooh la la moment for the French CBD Biz? If not the European one beyond that?

The French have carved out a unique place in the European cannabis discussion, and further one that may well be emulated elsewhere. What is remarkable about such developments, however, is that while the French have some of the strictest laws in Europe about the plant, it is here that the CBD discussion is being moved forward in codified, legal decisions.

The Kanavape case, in other words, has only been the beginning of a dramatic about turn in French domestic policy about CBD. As a result of the same, the French government released new regulation on December 31, 2021. However, it was met with howls of discontent if not speedy legal action in response by the industry when it emerged that the marketing and sales of flowers and leaves would still be expressly interdit (forbidden). On January 24, the Conseil d’Etat, the highest administrative court in the country), agreed with the industry and froze the proposed ban.

This means that the French finally have a regulated CBD market for both flowers and products. It also, as a result, creates the first time that a European country (beyond Switzerland) has codified its hemp industry so concretely. To put this in the perspective this deserves – Germany, with the continent’s largest medical market, has still not figured out how to formally define CBD outside of the Narcotics Act. 

To the extent that this discussion is likely to get a carveout in the upcoming drug reform conversation now afoot at the federal level politically, it is likely that the Germans will follow the French. To date, the issue of flower and leaf sales has been controversial here as well. The last German legal decision on hemp tea was in fact, indecisive.

The French movement on the same, in other words, is highly likely to influence not only the other largest economy in the region, but every other country as well. It may well also move the formal acceptance and clarification of at least CBD on a European level.

And that is a revolution that is way, way overdue.

Be sure to book tickets to the International Cannabis Business Conference when it returns to Barcelona this March!