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The future of the hemp industry and more specifically CBD seems to be getting clearer

After the decision to ban the sale of hemp flowers and leaves, made official by a ministerial decree since 31 December 2021, the industry decided to fight. To this end, a request for the suspension of this order has been filed with the Constitutional Council. This is a hard blow for the businesses that have multiplied in France, which have not said their last word and are ready to use all possible recourses, relying in particular on previous decisions, with regard to Community law, for example.

An industry worried despite its protection by European legislation

According to Charles Morel, president of the Union des Professionnels du CBD, if such a spirit of rebellion and resistance has arisen in France, it is above all because of the possibly illegal nature of the decree in question. The actors of the hemp sector feel betrayed and their flourishing activities are threatened. However, Guillaume Carton, owner of nine shops in Brittany, is surprised by this panic, knowing that the Court of Justice of the European Union has already ruled that the ban on CBD in France is illegal in the name of the principle of free movement of goods and had also indicated that CBD, having no harmful effects on health, could not be considered a narcotic, unlike THC.

Good news from the Constitutional Council: CBD exempted

The request of the hemp professionals was unfortunately rejected on Friday 7 January 2022 by the Constitutional Council. Indeed, for him, the article on the categorisation of narcotics in the public health code is perfectly compliant. However, nothing is lost yet as he also insisted on going back to the criteria for defining a narcotic product by specifying that CBD-based products - including leaves and flowers - do not fall under this classification. This is a welcome development for professionals in the field! The judges of this high institution consider that the notion of "narcotic" refers to psychotropic substances, characterised by a risk of dependence and the presence of harmful effects for health.

As a reminder, the Union of CBD Professionals filed a petition for interim relief with the Council of State the day after the unfortunate decision, i.e. on 1 January 2022, with a view to obtaining the suspension of the order banning the sale of hemp flowers and leaves. The aim is to have the ban cancelled. The decision is expected next Friday, 14 January 2022. Finally, as the industry has decided not to do things by halves, it has also decided to launch a petition on the internet against the government's decree.

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