Soon the end of legal uncertainty? Thursday, November 19, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled illegal the ban in France on the marketing of cannabidiol (CBD), stressing that this molecule present in hemp (or cannabis sativa) has “No psychotropic effect or harmful effect on human health“.
CJEU ruling concerns cannabidiol “Legally produced in another Member State of the European Union when it is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant in its entirety”. It should thus deprive of a legal basis for many lawsuits in France.
Fashion effect in 2018
CBD is one of the many (around two hundred, according to the World Health Organization) cannabinoids found in hemp, also called cannabis. Unlike the most famous active ingredient in the plant, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it does not have a narcotic effect.
Discovered in 1963, CBD was the subject of a powerful fad in 2018: in just a few months, dozens of specialty shops in derivative products were opened across France, which found a legal “loophole” by selling products with very little THC, but a concentration of cannabidiol.
In 2018, the Aix-en-Provence court of appeal (Bouches-du-Rhône) was called upon to rule in the Kanavape case, the name of a CBD electronic cigarette, presented as “100% legal” by its designers because respecting the maximum authorized rate of 0.2% THC. It was this court that chose, in October of that year, to refer a preliminary question to the CJEU on the compatibility of French regulations on CBD with less restrictive European law.