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France Moves to Begin Cultivating Medical Cannabis |

March 1 may not go down in history as a revolutionary date in France—like, say, the July standbys such as Bastille or Independence Day—but it will still stand as a significant one in the world of cannabis. 

French authorities finally saw the benefits of medical cannabis and have declared it is legal. As a result they have now approved a decree authorizing medical cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution in the country.

It has taken a while for this to happen, especially considering the progress made by Germany (a large economy) in spring 2017. Nevertheless, several promises at a national level later, German confirmation of a recreational market in the offing (along with several other EU countries implementing one—see Malta and Luxembourg), not to mention COVID and a national lawsuit that ended up changing EU policy on CBD, the French have arrived.

In the near future, medical cannabis will be grown in France and a supply chain established.

The real fun starts now, as Germans already discovered.

Quelle Fromage!

An industry that is tired of all the loopholes and counter-interpretations will likely have many different interpretations. Interesting challenges will also arise from a law that is clearly intended to benefit the pharmaceutical industry, even if it does not establish a EU-GMP supply chain.

This is the first twist. According to Article 2, the production, including cultivation, manufacture, transport, import, export, possession, offering, acquisition, and use of cannabis in France, are still prohibited unless a medical authorization has been specifically issued by the relevant authorities—in this case, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products. 

As the French move to create a domestic cannabis industry, expect the same problems in Germany.

The French government has granted the largest Canadian public companies permission to set up at least some sort of presence in France. In order to participate in the nationwide medical trial, corporate partners had to provide equipment and meds. This means that other pharmaceutical companies will likely enter the market, even if they are not in a hurry to establish domestic distribution businesses (just like it has happened in In). Deutschland).

This leaves it very uncertain, however. Whether the French authorities would continue to allow flower cannabis to be used as medicine. Given the language of the resolution, however, specifically “only growers who have contracted to supply their production (to a licensed and authorized manufacturer) may cultivate cannabis plants for the purpose of manufacturing medicines,” it appears that flower may be on the way out. This is unless someone sues.

France has a history of stoking the pot flower.

It is clear, it seems that the French official cannabis policy writer didn’t get the memo about the fact that France has just won a battle on banning CBD.

In January, in fact, while trying to establish the regulatory environment for a CBD market in the wake of both the Kanavape case and an EU decision on the matter, the French government was slapped down by the nation’s highest court (at least temporarily) when the authorities also tried to ban the sale of CBD flower.

Don’t think such a decision has gone unnoticed at any federal French agency. This could either be considered sloppy or, perhaps, an attempt to cut out the cannabis discussion at federal level. 

Don’t expect the industry to sit this one out, particularly having just won several major victories.

Pharmaceutical Interests vs. the Rest of the Industry

This is what you need to keep in mind. The plant is being defended by the same forces that are moving at a rapid pace, with increasing court challenges. This type of legal confrontation is likely to happen everywhere. France so far has been an example, as well at the EU level. 

It beats any other attempts by other countries within the bloc to launch challenges. You can see the failures of last year’s Spanish cannabis club industry at that same nosebleed level. In actuality, even at the federal level, the Spanish marijuana industry has failed to achieve legal success. Perhaps the Spanish have already tried to stop recreational discussions, and allowed only a few cultivation licenses, rather than the French.

Indeed, that is the strategy Germany tried to take—and ended up with large public Canadian companies instead, not to mention a new government which has been essentially forced into moving forward on recreational reform, no matter how slowly it is dragging its feet.

While it’s not known who will move in to this spot in France at the moment, cultivation footprints are already established in several EU countries (including Portugal and Denmark) as well. Deutschland)It is unlikely these people will continue to be focused on French domestic cultivation as much as they did in 2017.

It is what also the French government wanted. European regulators and leaders have not yet seen cannabis as an economic opportunity.

As history has shown, however, inflections in the face a massive shift in political, medical and social paradigms are rarely able to hold onto the dam.

This, in other words: Although it may be a long time before the Bastille storms, this will likely finally bring the powder to the keg.

Vive la cannabis revolution!