France bans sale of CBD flowers and leaves under new regulation
Business organizations say they have taken action against the new regulations. France has banned the sale of CBD flowers and leaves in all its forms, under its new regulatory framework. An industry group has filed an injunction against the new rules because of the non-narcotic legal status of cannabidiol in the European Union, of which France is a member state.
The sale of flowers represents the bulk of the turnover of more than 1800 specialty shops which are now in danger of closing. Some stores fear bankruptcy because of the regulations, according to local reports.
The revised regulations, published by decree in Legifrance December 30, 2021, allows the cultivation of hemp flowers and leaves, but with restrictions.
Under the new rules, the sale of raw flowers or leaves “in any form, alone or in combination with other ingredients” is prohibited. Possession and consumption are prohibited, as are the sale of seedlings and the practice of cuttings.
Only "active farmers" can grow hemp flowers and leaves in France. The latter may only be harvested, imported or used for the industrial production of hemp extracts containing no more than 0,3% THC.
Government officials say ban is justified on health and public order grounds, despite European Court of Justice ruling in 2020 that CBD is not a narcotic and national laws cannot prohibit the sale of CBD legally produced in a member state.
A statement from the government agency for the fight against drugs - Mission interministerial de struggle against drugs and addictive behaviors - qualifies CBD as a psychoactive product and cites the risks of smoking a biological product, saying that the forces of l The order must be able to simply distinguish between products which could be illicit.
Some organizations attacked the decree and the MILDECA for “post-hoc health considerations linked to disinformation. "
An online petition against the ban had collected more than 25000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
France has already banned the sale of CBD, a decision that was overturned by the country's highest court of appeal last June. The Cessation Court ruled that judges could not consider sales of CBD to be illegal if the products had been legally produced in a member state of the European Union.