France’s CBD industry has a good reason to celebrate after the Council of State ruled that CBD shops could once again sell CBD flowers. However, some are still concerned that the flowers reside in a legal gray area, as they are neither prohibited nor permitted. Although one legal scholar reminds us that, in France, the principle is freedom: to ban something, it has to first be written in law.
France’s CBD industry professionals are all a bit hungover today, thanks to a festive night. Yesterday, at around 6 pm, the Council of State granted a major victory: CBD shops can now sell hemp flowers again. So of course, many people celebrated as they should.
Of course, the French CBD industry isn’t the only one with reason to celebrate, with progress being made in other countries, too. Following these developments is easy, too: simply download our free Hemp.IM cannabis news app.
CBD Industry Overwhelmed with Joy
“I think the whole CBD industry woke up with a hangover this morning,” joked Mao Aoust, owner of the 180-store chain High Society. “Yesterday, when the decision came down, everyone was going crazy. We opened a few bottles of champagne and celebrated! It was a bit like our own New Year’s Eve, since it was ruined,” smiles the Marseille native, referring to the government order published on December 31.
Others let their vocal cords go to celebrate. When my lawyer informed me of the news, I asked him if I could sing a little, and I sang Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes,” laughs Aurélien Delecroix, president of the Professional Hemp Union. It’s really a great victory.
For Ingrid Metton, a lawyer who has been defending CBD industry traders “for seven years”, this decision is very good. “It’s an immense professional joy. I tell myself that, at last, CBD entrepreneurs will be able to carry on their business normally.
CBD Flowers Still a Grey Area, However
Once the celebrations are over, it will be necessary for the CBD industry to get back to work quickly to clarify the situation. Today, the flower is neither banned nor fully legal. The law will remain unclear for a few more months. The Council of State is expected to issue a final decision – a “recours en annulation” – within six months to a year. It may go in the same direction as the first decision, or it may say the opposite.
“The marketing of flowers and CBD products with less than 0.3% is allowed today! In French criminal law, the prohibited is the exception, the principle is freedom. To prohibit something, you have to write it down,” reminds Yann Bisiou, teacher-researcher in private law, and legal consultant to the Union of CBD Professionals.
After a pause, dialogue must resume between CBD industry players and the public authorities. “This ruling by the Council of State is a strong signal that must force the authorities to reconsider. Last night I wrote to the MILDECA to invite them to finally sit down and talk”, hopes Aurélien Delecroix.
As CBD Industry Celebrates, Some Politicians Are Embarrassed
For their part, some political staff are embarrassed in front of the CBD industry. In the front row, the MILDECA (the Interministerial Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Addictive Behaviors) does not wish to express itself and is keeping its back to the wall until the storm passes. Interior minister Gérald Darmanin, for his part, “regrets” this decision by the Council of State. This morning he was a guest on popular radio station France Inter and tried a punchline that some would say had no bearing on the issue: “We didn’t raise the price of tobacco to €10 so that we would accept the legalization, the decriminalization of cannabis.
At the National Assembly, the Minister of Health had a little more difficulty in explaining himself. Responding to a question from MP François-Michel Lambert addressed to Gérald Darmanin, who did not wish to answer, Olivier Véran maintained that “the Council of State canceled part of the order for formal reasons, considering that the health reasons were perhaps excessive. It is up to us to show that the health reason is valid’.
Darmanin and Véran are notoriously at odds on the subject. The first is in favor of a very firm framework on illegal drugs. The second is more in favor of Cannabis and a healthy CBD industry, but seems to have lost the political battle on the subject.
“If I were the government, I would rewrite the whole decree,” said Jean-Baptiste Moreau, MP (LREM), a fervent supporter of hemp and the CBD industry. At the time, I had said that the decree would fall as soon as the first appeal was made to the courts. The government decided to pass this text anyway. So I don’t want to look like an old fart, but I told them so.
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