The French Council of State recently ruled against banning hemp flower.
Despite being a bit behind the times when it comes to cannabis policy, France is home to a well-established cannabis community.
In fact, France is tied with Spain for having the highest cannabis consumption rate on earth, with more than 1 out of every 10 adults in France having consumed cannabis within the last year.
Much like the rest of the world, low-THC cannabis products are gaining popularity in France. Low-THC cannabis is derived from hemp and is often referred to as “floral hemp.”
Being that floral hemp doesn’t look any different from non-hemp cannabis flower, it has led to some confiscations by law enforcement.
France’s Council of State recently determined that such seizures are unlawful.
Devoid of Narcotic Properties
In their ruling, the judge overseeing the binding case that overturned the raw hemp flower ban indicated that the decision was based on a lack of “narcotic properties.”
According to French law, “production, manufacture, transport, import, export, possession, offer, transfer, acquisition or use of cannabis (plant, resin and derived products),” is prohibited.
However, French law also provides for the legal “cultivation, import, export and industrial and commercial use of varieties of cannabis devoid of narcotic properties.”
The judge determined that anything below 0.3% THC content is devoid of narcotic properties, and thus any ban on such products is illegal.
The court ruling will no doubt result in outrage within the anti-cannabis community.
If history is any guide, local law enforcement agencies will act confused and urge lawmakers to pass harsher policies to “clear up the confusion.”
Hopefully, lawmakers in France refrain from taking the bait from cannabis opponents and instead use this as an opportunity to get the European nation on the right side of history.
With Malta recently becoming the first country to legalize cannabis for adult use in Europe, and many countries on the continent pursuing robust medical cannabis industry plans, France would be wise to get with the program sooner rather than later.