Is France’s ban on the CBD contrary to EU law?


Legislation on CBD, hemp and cannabis is perhaps as diverse in the member states of the European Union as in most other countries in the world. Although the majority of EU countries allow the cultivation of hemp and the production of CBD, some have gone against this generalization.

CBD directives of France

Although it is the largest industrial hemp farmer in Europe, France currently has some of the strictest restrictions on the use of hemp and cannabis. These restrictions include a general ban on the production and import of CBD. As in the United Kingdom, French regulations only allow the manufacture of CBD products from fibers and hemp seeds.

In addition, imported products that contain extracts from the whole plant – flowers and leaves contain the highest concentration of CBD – are also prohibited. On this front, the laws of France and the United Kingdom differ, the United Kingdom authorizing the importation of CBD products. There are some critics of the current CBD guidelines in France, including an adviser to the European Court.

What is controversy?

In 2014, the owners of the CBD product line, Kanavape, were convicted of a criminal offense for the use of whole plant CBD extract imported from the Czech Republic in their products. Business owners Sébastian Béguerie and Antonin Cohen have appealed the conviction and the case is now referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

We may have received guidance on how the appeal may proceed, as an adviser to the European Court has given his legal opinion. According to Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev, French law could contradict current European law which allows the free movement of goods across the Member States.

Kanavape owner Antonin Cohen said:

“From a personal point of view, this opinion is a real relief. It has been very difficult to fight these legal challenges for so long, but I have pursued this approach because it is essential to create clear regulations to protect the health of consumers and support the competitiveness of French and European companies in a global industry. full growth. quickly. “

The court’s decision is unclear, however, as the final decision on the case is not expected until September. However, if Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev’s opinion is reflected in the decision, the case could set an important precedent for the future of the European CBD market and relevant legislation.


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