A country can be in the process of legalizing cannabis and punishing the hemp flower trade at the same time.
The German Federal Court of Justice thus rejected the appeals of two defendants against a Berlin judgment sentencing them to prison terms, in particular for trafficking in CBD flowers. The judgment was motivated by the fact that cooking the CBD flowers could possibly release THC and therefore an intoxicating effect, the flowers then falling under the narcotics law.
This is not the first time that Germany has cracked down on CBD Shops.
The Berlin Regional Court sentenced one of the defendants, inter alia, for trafficking narcotics in an organized gang in significant quantities in two cases and the other for complicity in this trafficking, to a total of three years’ imprisonment. and nine months for the first and ten months for the second whose execution he suspended.
According to the findings of the regional court, the main defendant purchased in September and October 2019 60 kg of hemp flowers containing a high proportion of cannabidiol (CBD). He profitably resold the CBD flowers to wholesalers, who in turn sold them to CBD shops.
The full review of the judgment, carried out following the appeal on the merits, classified CBD flowers as narcotics within the meaning of Schedule I of the German Narcotics Act (BtMG). The flowers, however, respected the active substance limit of 0.2% THC.
But the court ruled that the abuse of CBD flowers for the purpose of intoxication cannot be ruled out. Indeed, still according to the court which did not call on any expert to verify if this was indeed the case, if the flowers were heated, for example during cooking, this resulted in the release of an uncertain quantity of THC. , which could cause cannabis intoxication when consumed by the end consumer. The main defendant declared himself aware of this, which may explain part of the verdict.
In view of the possibility of the misuse of CBD flowers for the purpose of intoxication, “dangerous to health”, the 5th Criminal Chamber of the Federal Court of Justice based in Leipzig found that the trade in CBD flowers violated “the constitutional prohibition of intoxication”.
The statement from the court’s press service finally states that “the judgment of the Berlin Regional Court is therefore final”.
The Berlin start-up Bunte Blume, which marketed cookies made from hemp flowers, was acquitted in 2020 after being accused of organized drug trafficking. The court ruled that the company’s founders “couldn’t have known about the intoxicating effect of homemade brownies.”