The Court ruled that the French ban on the marketing of CBD products is contrary to European legislation.
This chemical compound of cannabis, CBD, is not a narcotic because "it does not appear to have any psychotropic or adverse effects on human health."said the EU's highest court. The decision of the European Court of Justice deals a severe blow to efforts by some EU countries to restrict the sale of CBD, while at the same time giving a boost to the industry.
The judgment was handed down in the context of proceedings in France against KanaVape, a company which exports CBD oil made from hemp plants.
According to French law, only the fibre and seeds of hemp - a variety of the cannabis plant containing less than 0.3 % of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid - can be used for commercial purposes, not the flower.
The Court ruled that the French ban on CBD products was contrary to European legislation on the free circulation of goods.
"The national court must evaluate the available scientific data to ensure that the actual risk to public health alleged does not appear to be based on purely hypothetical considerations".wrote the court.
It is true that the conservative policy of the French authorities, relatively ignorant of recent scientific progress, was quite surprising.
It should be stressed that this verdict does not impose on countries their attitudes towards the CBD. There is a good chance that seizures will continue in France, but industry players are now much more serene from a legal point of view in the event of complications with the (abusive) authorities.
Kanabiz welcomes this decision, which is obviously a step in the right direction: recognizing a plant and its virtues, without seeking to ban it under the guise of obsolete historical reasons or manipulated convictions. To be continued, how will France behave in the coming weeks?