EU court rejects French ban of cannabis derivative CBD

·1-min read

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the French ban on the sale of the cannabis derivative known as CBD or cannabidiol is unfounded, since the product has no psychotropic or mood-altering effects and no negative impact on health. Several court cases pending in France are likely to be abandoned in the wake of the European decision.

Cannabidiol or CBD became fashionable in France in 2018, with the emergence of dozens of shops specialising in cannabis derivatives, not covered by narcotics legislation.

After an appeal by two men, convicted by a court in Marseille of drug offences for marketing the product Kanevape to users of electronic cigarettes, French judges realised that local law was not aligned with European legislation. The French Appeals court thus applied to the European body for a judgement.

The two men behind Kanevape, originally handed 18 and 15 month suspended prison sentences and a 10,000 euro fine, made use of cannabis grown in the Czech Republic.

No danger, no narcotic effect

Their product contained less than 0.2 percent of the substance delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives cannabis users the narcotic high, and which is still illegal in higher concentrations.

The European Court found that France was breaking EU rules on the free circulation of goods by refusing to allow the sale of a product derived from a plant grown in another member state.

The court in Luxembourg also found that CBD is not a narcotic. Since there is no evidence that cannabidiol has a negative effect on human health, there is no reason for any national court in an EU state to ban

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