Will MILDECA entrust the monopoly of the sale of CBD flowers to tobacconists?

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A ministerial meeting should have been held on April 4 but the non-aligned government positions and social unrest got the better of it. It was therefore postponed to a later date. The challenge was, however, for this second meeting on the subject, to continue to outline the future regulation of the sale of CBD flowers in France.

The scenario has been circulating for a long time in people’s minds and yet has never been officially requested by tobacconists. Not out of altruism, but because a tobacco product is heavily taxed and therefore less profitable. While CBD is, for now, more interesting than a pack of cigarettes in terms of taxes.

According to our information, the MILDECA is however working on a drastic tightening of the CBD flower market to potentially entrust them with a monopoly.

The underlying idea is to introduce an excise tax on the sale of hemp flowers and to authorize only one distribution channel: that of tobacconists. Production would still be entrusted to “active farmers”, as already specified in the Decree of December 30, 2021, who will have to conclude production contracts with approved manufacturers, in the customs sense of the term.

Contacted by us, the MILDECA does not confirm that it is working on the subject. However, it published last December in a press release that it “continued its reflection in order to prevent these risks by developing a regulatory framework suitable for the marketing of these raw flowers and leaves”. But as often with MILDECA, communication is complicated.

Philippe Glory, vice-president of the Confederation of tobacconists and in charge of the work carried out on the CBD, confirms that the MILDECA is in the process of “laying a text”. The Confederation is not invited to the working table, interministerial meeting obliges, and above all does not ask for exclusive sales.

“They may talk about excise duties but that does not mean that they are reserved for tobacconists” confides Philippe Glory. For context, Luxembourg and Belgium have excise duties of around 30% to which VAT must be added.

“It’s blurry, there is nothing written,” he says. Above all, he emphasizes to us the need to “provide good service and quality, which was not always the case with some of our colleagues when they started to market CBD”.

On the political side, we contacted Ludovic Mendes, Renaissance deputy, who is organizing a symposium on medical cannabis and CBD next Thursday at the National Assembly. He is not aware of these meetings either, without being surprised.

” Everytime it’s the same. They work behind closed doors and then present a text. »

Same story on the side of the Professional Union of Hemp. Aurélien Delecroix, its president, is not aware of the work of the MILDECA and the avenues envisaged. He nevertheless readily imagines that the interministerial mission still has the snub of December 2022 in its throat and will not necessarily want to include the hemp associations at the origin of the decision of the Council of State.

What timing for this project? One of the ideas that is in transit would be to integrate it into the 2024 finance plan (PLFSS) to start on January 1, 2024. All that remains is to pass a decree to specify all the “rules”. And close all the CBD shops in France and Navarre at the risk of developing a black market for CBD?

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