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The French Ground War on Regulated CBD |

Like many aspects of the cannabis revolution there will be moments where market creation or reform are not achieved in a smooth manner. Most people in this sector, who have achieved a well-earned, litigated or legislative win, also experienced the realization that it is not only a positive step but also a two-step back. 

This is what France has right now.

One, Article R.513286 of the Public Health Code was implemented by the French Ministry of Solidarity and Health on December 30, 2021. Directly in response to KanaVape where the European Court of Justice declared that import CBD from France, and other European Union countries (EU), were legal, and that cannabinoid is not an narcotic in general, the French government has effectively made the EU decision a French law.

CBD oil can also be purchased, and it’s clearly identifiable. Not a narcotic.

It is the form of cannabis that consumers may be able to purchase that has caused consternation, if not rebellion within the industry.


The new order is as follows: This law legalizes CBD and its products. The bad news is: This ban specifically prohibits retail sales of cannabis flowers. It also applies to tea and smokable cannabis.

Positives: The positives? 

As a result, there are no French police raids at CBD cookie shops. 

Merci beaucoup.

The other side, however, is merde a la mode.

This order will be devastating for hemp growers and smaller stores that sell the same products (such as hemp tea) The legal limit on THC was increased to 0.03 percent. This means that hemp growers can only sell CBD to other people who are willing to transform it (usually extract the CBD) into products.

Also, the new order does not remove CBD from the Novel Food category. It could be an area for legal challenge, especially for CBD grown in France. However, given the blow just directed in the direction of the French cultivation industry, a by-product of this decision could very well move cultivation of even hemp outside the country’s borders.

It’s more like a whimper than a bang

It is clear that this is not a French Revolution regarding CBD. This may be a cynical move from French President Emmanuel Macron. He took the EU President’s post for six months starting January 1. This is a discussion that’s much depised by the nosebleed levels of European politics, but only so far as it is absolutely necessary.

This kind of unfortunate attitude is very much in line with European attitudes to cannabis cultivation. Politicians in Germany were so opposed to legalizing home grow that they banned even registered German pharmaceutical firms from participating in the country’s first cultivation bid for the regulated pharmaceutical market. The conversation about hemp is still far from over.

It’s trickle down reform. As such, it will again be fought in court.

What’s Happening to the Industry?

The industry associations, including the Hemp Union and the Trade Association of CBD Sellers, will meet on January 3. Union des Professionals du CBD, The new order is being challenged by flower sellers, who can account for as high as 80 percent in their business. Because at EU level there’s no differentiation between extract and flowers, they are asking for the government to stop the new order. The application was submitted to the highest administrative court in France—the Council of State. This means that it has not yet been denied.

Indeed, many on the ground feel that this is just another way of setting back the industry if not reform itself—and further apparently fairly similarly at the nosebleed level of European politics. The topic of CBD and flower sales has become contentious in Germany. In Germany, both the police and the courts have taken action against companies selling CBD. It is prohibited to sell the same in the UK. 

However, this isn’t the norm in Europe. Although it is not stated explicitly in Belgium or Luxembourg, CBD flowers are more or less treated as tobacco. In both Malta and Italy, home grow is also now explicitly allowed—even if just of the hemp variety. This is indeed one of the most intriguing features of KanaVape’s case, as the import extract that was at the heart of all the fuss was intended for inhalation. 

It is clear that there has been a rise in medical cannabis sales since 2017, and no one is speaking out yet about the possibility of removing high-THC, adult-use flower markets. aus Deutschland. It is not certain that patients participating in French trials will only be consuming the dispensed flowers by a medically approved vape.

However, despite the inconsistencies or hypocrisies on both sides of the argument about smoking and on the persistent pushback from police (on issues such as not being capable to distinguish between cars on the streets and driving problems), these are issues that are hotly debated in European discussions. France’s latest developments are no exception.

Furthermore, it is important to note that even CBD flower has been assumed to be a significant ingredient. It not only excludes patients and consumers from making their own cannabis products, but also categorizes all cannabis flowers as a very harmful type.

There are two main reasons this is alarming. This is a potential blow to France’s hemp industry, which had sales of $180 million last year. Even more concerning is the possibility that it could have far-reaching consequences beyond France’s borders. European nations look to one another to determine a path to legalization. This is in spite of the fact that there are currently no international cannabis regulations. The UN still has not classified cannabis or cannabinoids as Schedule 1 drugs.

The many obstacles in the way to CBD legalization in France and other EU countries are only a part of the larger fight for THC.

For all of these reasons, the French hemp industry and more European counterparts are actively watching the case.