Ban on CBD flowers in France: Where are we and what can we fear?

Following the decree published on December 31, 2021 in the Official Journal, it is now prohibited to buy, sell or consume CBD flowers in France. This decision received an outcry from traders as well as consumers, who point out the fact that the CBD molecule is not considered a drug, and especially that the CJEU prohibited France from banning the marketing of CBD. So what will happen in the days and weeks to come? Since last year, the number of stores selling CBD has increased from 400 to more than 2,000 in France, according to the Syndicat Professionnel du Hemp. This ban with immediate effect therefore puts a sudden halt to this expansion. But, does France have the right to make this decision? What will happen in the coming weeks? We will try to enlighten you on the subject. Among some traders, this decision is seen as a shock wave. In Le Havre, one of the most developed cities in France in terms of CBD (number of stores, derivative products, etc.), we met a merchant who was rather pessimistic on the subject: “Everyone is going to be unemployed, we don't have no choice. Flowers make up 80% of our sales. All CBD stores will close in France. It is not just by selling oils that traders will succeed in surviving. Oils, cosmetic products and drinks only represent 20% of my turnover. This will prove right the people in the neighborhood who sell the real drug, THC-based flowers…” On the other hand, in the same Le Havre area, Cyrille Bjaoui, manager of the Weed Corner brand, does not give in to the panic that seems to grip his peers: “This law means that things are moving, that it evolves. Over the past three years, we have already made a lot of progress and things continue to go in the right direction. The CBD was further clarified with the order. We are asking that this sector be much more supervised. Today, there are few or no controls. People who know nothing about this business are jumping into it, hence the exponential number of openings of companies related to CBD. There are necessarily methodologies in relation to this emerging sector which are not all put in place. He believes that this decision will have no impact on his business, as he works with other European countries. however, he recognizes that this is slowing down the hemp industry which was booming. But there are positives. Indeed, the professional hemp union has already announced that it would file an appeal before the Council of State. And then, in June 2021, the Court of Cassation had already clarified that France could not ban the sale of CBD. “What is a shame is that we have a Franco-French policy which positions itself quite harshly or at least in a non-objective manner in relation to this sector when there are good prospects,” continues Cyrille Bjaoui. What poses a problem is the floral tops, the flowers, the weed, arguing that it is a public health problem and that today, the police are not able to realize whether they have a product rich in CBD or THC in front of them. This is totally false. You just have to travel 700 km and go to Switzerland. We have the human and financial resources, you just have to have a real desire. The only thing that the decree lets shine through is that France does not want to position itself in relation to this. That's why I'm not worried. » The next appeal to the constitutional council will take place this Friday 01/14/22, while all players in the CBD market are awaiting positive feedback to be able to continue their activity, which is clearly legal and authorized in the name of the European Union. However, it seems certain that you will be able to find CBD flowers in certain stores which do not accept this text which goes against the EU.
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