Hemp flowers and leaves: French Council of State decides to suspend decree banning their sales
June 5, 2022 by Giovani

Hemp flowers and leaves: French Council of State decides to suspend decree banning their sales

At the end of December 2021, the government banned through an order issued any and all possession and sale of hemp flowers containing CBD.

However, on January 24, the State Council suspended this decree after professionals in the sector pressured the highest administrative level to overturn this decree.

The State Council concluded that hemp flowers and leaves that contain a THC (Tetrahydrocannabibol, the molecule responsible for the psychoactive part of the plant) content of less than 0.30% are not harmful and that therefore it makes no sense to ban their circulation. However, this suspension is provisional until the body decides definitively on the legality of the decree.

Companies linked to the cannabis market suffer from all this instability. Aurélien Delecroix, president of the hemp union, was one of the requesters to suspend the decree related to hemp flowers. He says that the ban was like a thorn in his side and that although everything is stabilizing, there is still a lot to be done along the way. Xavier Pizarro, a lawyer for the CBD Professionals Union, believes the decision illustrates the "domain of European law, where the government intends to deliver a political coup."

The Confederation of Tobacco Shops makes a point of stressing its request that the sale of hemp flowers and CBD products be protected by clear and stable rules that are peaceful as well as permanent. There is a fear that another movement will happen that will bring darkness to the sector again.

This distrust of stability is due to the fact that in recent times the CBD has been living in limbo between legality and prohibition. In 2020, the CJEU considered the ban in France illegal, which was already authorized in several countries of the European Union, following the principle of the free movement of goods. Justice had already considered that there is no legality in the prohibition of a molecule that is already known to be not harmful to human health.

Following the court ruling, the Court of Cassation, the highest French court, followed the same steps in June 2021 and also ruled that CBD legally produced in the European Union could be marketed without embargoes in France.

The country already had approximately 400 CBD stores by the beginning of 2021, and currently, this number has practically quadrupled. The sector has a turnover of around one billion euros, and the promise is to increase these numbers even further in the coming years.

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