Thursday, December 29, 2021, the Council of State definitively canceled the government decree which aimed to ban the trade of CBD flowers in France, almost a year to the day after its publication by the French government. The decree had already been suspended at the beginning of 2022 after several players in the CBD hemp sector mobilized.
The Council of State ruled that the general and absolute ban on the marketing of hemp flowers and leaves in their raw state was “disproportionate” and that their sale does not “create a risk to public health” which could justify this prohibition.
“In the state of scientific data, the harmfulness of other molecules present in cannabis flowers and leaves, in particular CBD, has not been established. »
The Council of State also recalls the data currently available on CBD, in particular its “decontracting and relaxing properties and anticonvulsant effects, [sans]psychotropic effect and [sans provoquer] of dependence”.
As various French actors have shown since 2019, the Council of State recalled that the police could tell the difference in the event of a check between CBD cannabis and THC cannabis “by means of rapid tests”.
The Council of State therefore obliges the government to authorize the free sale of hemp as well as its cultivation by all. The decree issued in 2021 thus restricted the cultivation of hemp to farmers only.
By deciding definitively in favor of the free sale and cultivation of hemp, the Council of State is burying a war on CBD that began in 2014 against Kanavape, “the first 100% legal hemp electronic cigarette” according to its founders.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), then the Court of Cassation, had to confirm that cannabidiol could not be considered a narcotic, having “no psychotropic effect or harmful effect on human health”. This did not ultimately prevent the government from wanting to ban its retail sale.
“From a legal point of view, we had reasonable confidence in the decision, but it is still a relief for the industry. At first, the state even wanted to ban the CBD molecule. We have not lost a single battle and the law is on our side,” Aurélien Delecroix, president of the Professional Hemp Syndicate, who attacked the decree alongside other players, told Liberation.