QPC CBD France comp

The Council of State refers the QPC filed by French CBD producers to the Constitutional Council

The legal acceptance of CBD in France is not a smooth process. The struggle between CBD producers and the legal authorities is never-ending. The new stage of this painful journey was started by the French Association of Cannabinoid Producers (AFPC) which, on 28 July, filed a QPC (Question Prioritaire de Constitutionnalité) to challenge the legislative basis of the decree of 22 August 1990. Following the examination of this QPC, the Council of State finally decided to refer it to the Constitutional Council.

A complex issue with multiple challenges

The decree challenged at the time excluded not only the stem but also the flower from the authorisation to sell, grow, import and export certain varieties of cannabis, which was considered by the AFPC to be an obstacle to their freedom of enterprise. The decision of the Council of State to validate the QPC and to transmit it to the Constitutional Council is a first victory for the AFPC and a further step towards the relaxation of regulations regarding CBD. The AFPC - which has about 60 active members speaking on behalf of more than 500 independent hemp growers across the country - wishes to have the August 1990 decree repealed, by filing a petition in their name, on behalf of Maître Scanvic. Indeed, what they deplore is that the text in question is largely prejudicial to French hemp growers by prohibiting them from growing hemp intended to be CBD on French soil, while the import of CBD flowers from other countries in the European Union is authorised.

Time for change...

If the Constitutional Council agrees with them, not only will the decree disappear but it could also change the whole structure of the regulation of cannabis use in France. Moreover, it is expected that the Council will have ruled and given its decision within three months. However, if the Council rejects their claim, Frédéric Scanvic and the AFPC will invoke the violation of EU law, due to non-compliance with the Kanavape ruling, before the Council of State. François Piotrowski, President of the French Association of Cannabinoid Producers, added: "If this is what it takes to finally get an answer on hemp, then I think we can only salute Mr Scanvic's audacity for the success of this first step.

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