By / April 11, 2020

Cannabis reforms in France on hold until further notice

According to the numerous press reports on the subject, cannabis consumption and implementation of medical cannabis experimentation are sufficiently anchored in the French landscape. However, it is expected that the black market has many good years ahead until laws will eventually be implemented.

Both the Temporary Scientific Committee on “implementation of medical cannabis experimentation in France” and on the “common information mission on the regulation and the impact of different uses of cannabis” are at a standstill for the time being.

As far as the French medical cannabis sector is concerned, the discussion on the “implementation” of the medical cannabis testing should have started last year, at the end of 2019.

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First medical cannabis experimentation in France should start in 2020

At the moment, medical cannabis consumption is not legal in France, but an experiment on its prescription is due to start this year. The methods for testing medical cannabis in France are known and rather restricted: it will concern only 3,000 people, with defined pathologies (neuropathic pain, epilepsy, supportive care in oncology, palliative situations or painful spasticity) and in predefined Cannabidiol (CBD): Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ratios.

The experiment was voted in October 2019 by the French National Assembly and included in the Finance Act of 2020. This experimentation of medical cannabis was expected to start at the end of 2019 but then delayed. Currently, it is not expected to begin before September 2020.

The reason for the delay, at first, was “because of the strikes”, the Temporary Scientific Committee (CST) was only able to meet 4 times before the confinement, without addressing the crucial point of the call for tenders for cannabis-based treatments from foreign distributors, which was widely awaited by the latter and by French patients. 

According to some information, the members of the Temporary Scientific Committee (CST) are not aware of the deadlines for resuming plenary sessions. The timetable should, therefore, be postponed. The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) did not answer any questions, nor gave further details about this topic.

For the information mission launched at the National Assembly on the use of cannabis, Jean-Baptiste Moreau confirmed that “the work […] has been suspended during the time of confinement, the planned hearings have been postponed.”

Cannabis sector still hopeful even if the discussion is on hold

The cannabis sector, which was hoping for official regulation to stop the lawsuits against entrepreneurs or startups focused on cannabis, who notably market cannabis flowers and other products, will have to wait a little longer.

However, good news for all cannabis consumers who could be caught using cannabis on the public highway: the Poulliat fine of around $150 (€135) is still not in force. Nevertheless, people who use cannabis on public roads risk a “confinement” fine if their cannabis certificate is not in order.

Nevertheless, on all these subjects, there are possibilities to move forward more quickly, in particular the issuance of circulars to the regional public prosecutors’ offices. In the current lack of support, however, the subjects will remain at a standstill.


(Featured Image by 272447 from Pixabay)

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