The state has also been ordered to pay the total sum of 13,000 euros to the thirteen injunction-applicant companies.
To the shock of the CBD industry, on December 30th 2021, the French government issued an order prohibiting the possession and sales of the cannabidiol (CBD)-containing hemp plant, and the following day the nation’s CBD vendors were faced with the ban.

Naturally outraged the industry took immediate action, and disregarding the holidays, on January 1st the Union des Proffesionnels du CBD filed an injunction in the courts against the new measure. They argued that the given that France is a member state of the European union, and that the union has classified CBD as non-narcotic, in France CBD should be treated and regulated as such.

In response to this action, on Friday 14th January the French Supreme Court ruled in favour of the CBD industry and temporarily suspended the ban. Meanwhile the Conseil d’État (Council of State), which is in charge of advising the Government of France with regards to bills and ordinances, was tasked with looking further into the matter.

Ten days later, on January 24th, the council ruled in favour of the industry, explaining that indeed the ban was illegal and unnecessary. “The judge in chambers of the Conseil d’État considers that there is a serious doubt about the legality of this general and absolute prohibition measure because of its disproportionate nature,” read the council’s decision.

”Indeed, it does not appear, at the end of the contradictory investigation and the exchanges which took place during the public hearing, that the flowers and leaves of cannabis sativa L. whose THC content is less than 0.3 per cent would present a degree of harmfulness to health justifying a total and absolute prohibition measure: this threshold is precisely that retained by the contested decree itself to characterize the cannabis plants authorized for cultivation, importation, export and industrial use.”

An expanding market

Meanwhile, the state has also been ordered to pay the total sum of 13,000 euros to the thirteen injunction applicant companies. It is believed that at the start of 2021, there were 400 CBD shops across the country, and there are now approximately almost four times as many. The sector’s turnover is estimated by local unions at one billion euros, two-thirds of which are believed to derive directly from raw flowers and leaves.

The EU Court of Justice Deems CBD Ban in France Illegal


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