Cannabis

French appeals court says sale of CBD produced in Europe is legal

Buds of the cannabis plant, regardless of their THC content, are illegal in France, but the French Cour de cassation has ruled their sale is allowed if they were legally produced in the European Union.
Buds of the cannabis plant, regardless of their THC content, are illegal in France, but the French Cour de cassation has ruled their sale is allowed if they were legally produced in the European Union. © Getty Images

France’s highest appeals court has ruled that the sale of CBD is not illegal if it has been legally produced in a European member state. But it sent the decision on whether CBD itself is legal or not in France back down to the lower court.

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The Cour de cassation on Wednesday based its ruling on a decision by the European Court of Justice last year, which ruled that no national law can prohibit the sale of CBD legally produced in a member state.

But the court did not rule on whether selling CBD in France is legal or not, and sent a case involving the owner of a CBD shop back to a lower court in Grenoble for another ruling.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana, whose consumption remains illegal in France.

France allows for the sale of cannabis fibres and seeds containing less than 0.2 percent of THC, the psychoactive component in the plant.

Foxseeds, the shop at the centre of the case, like most CBD shops, sold buds, which authorities argue is illegal, regardless of how much THC they contain.

The owner was prosecuted for selling illegal drugs and the lower appeals court agreed that his sale of buds was illegal.

The Cour de cassation said that while the buds in the store were found to have trace amounts of THC, if they were legally produced in the European union, the owner should have been allowed to sell them.

It is now up to the lower court to attempt to clarify the rules on selling CBD. In the meantime, shops selling CBD tea, oils and candy have continued to proliferate in the grey area of the law.

(with wires)

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