French Ban of CBD Deemed Illegal by EU Court

On November 19, 2020 the Court of Justice of the European Union made a monumental ruling in favor of CBD users and legal distributors across Europe:

“A Member State may not prohibit the marketing of cannabidiol (CBD) lawfully produced in another Member State when it is extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant in its entirety”

This ruling came on the heels of a 5-year long stand-off between the country of France and the French-Czech company, KanaVape which produces legal cannabinoid vaporizers. France, who has always been tough on cannabinoid products, also recently implemented a 200 euro on-the-spot fine for users of cannabis back in July. It is interesting to note that France is first among all European Union countries in cannabis usage, but seemingly behind in terms of the embracement and commercialization of the booming CBD/Cannabis Industry.

(A market report created by the Cannabis Business Plan projects the European CBD market to be worth 1.5 billion Euros by 2023.)

The ban originally took place because former French Health Minister, Marisol Touraine, believed that CBD products would further encourage the consumption of cannabis. The Court Justice, however, deemed the ban illegal since CBD, “does not appear to have any psychotropic effect or any harmful effect on human health.” Since the product in question is indeed NOT a narcotic nor a public health risk, France was found guilty in violating the EU’s rules on the free circulation of goods. Additionally, the Court of Justice was not keen on outlawing a product, “based on purely hypothetical considerations.”

Michael Fitzpatrick from Radio France International also made note that such a ruling will cause the abandonment of numerous pending court cases in France revolving around similar circumstances. This is clearly a win for the CBD industry not only in France, but all of Europe.

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