France Lifts Ban On CBD Product Sales

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Roughly one year ago, on December 30, 2021 the government in France issued a ban on the sales of CBD products. CBD products have increased in popularity and availability throughout Europe in recent years, including in France.

Due to ongoing cannabis stigma, some lawmakers and regulators have portrayed CBD as being harmful, and they seem to have dusted off a number of reefer madness talking points that used to be applied to cannabis in general and are now revamping them to be more narrowly focused on CBD.

That stigma and ongoing anti-cannabis rhetoric by opponents has led to CBD crackdowns in some parts of the world. France’s ban was effectively short lived, as the ban was initially put on hold in January 2022 and is now being lifted altogether. Per Le Parisien:

The good news is confirmed for CBD sellers. Temporarily suspended last January, the ban on the sale in the raw state of the flowers and leaves of certain varieties of cannabis is now officially lifted, according to a decision of the Council of State on Wednesday , which “cancels the decree of December 30 2021 prohibiting the sale of cannabis flowers and leaves with a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) level of less than 0.3%”.

The institution “notes that CBD (cannabidiol), which has no psychotropic effect and does not cause addiction, cannot be considered a narcotic product”.

The Council of State “retains that it has not been established that the consumption of the flowers and leaves of these varieties of cannabis with a low level of THC would involve risks for public health. It therefore considers illegal the general and absolute prohibition of their marketing”.

Another example of a looming CBD crackdown can be found in Hong Kong where a complete CBD ban is going into effect in 2023. Unlike France, leaders in Hong Kong have made it clear that they will not be reversing course and that the ban will indeed go into effect and anyone caught violating the new ban will receive years in prison.

France’s lifting of the previous CBD ban is certainly welcomed news, however, the European nation still has a long way to go when it comes to improving cannabis policy. Cannabis consumption is very popular in France, and cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy. It’s beyond time that France got completely on the right side of history when it comes to cannabis laws.

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