The Future Of EU CBD Edibles: Will The EU Power France To Legalize CBD?


France and the EU have been fighting it out in court over import laws concerning a CBD case. If the EU wins it means a forced legalization of CBD edibles across the entire EU… But if France wins, it might be the beginning of the end for CBD edibles.

Before looking into EU CBD edibles, we need to shift our attention to the World Health Organization. One of the big cases in the world of legal cannabis has to do with an upcoming vote about cannabis scheduling based on recommendations put out by the WHO (World Health Organization). There are several recommendations that cover a variety of topics on the subject, a few of the main ones being: taking cannabis out of schedule I of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (substituting it instead with simply THC), and removing THC altogether from the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

It also recommends looking at individual cannabinoids, like CBD, separately from the rest of the plant, and not scheduling non-psychoactive cannabinoids the same as those that are psychoactive. Along with this it recommends allowing cannabis extracts with up to .2% THC to not be scheduled by either convention. This last one opens the door for easier trade between countries since it would set a legal international benchmark.

The recommendations were supposed to be voted on already, but due to different issues the vote has been put off a couple times, with a current date in December. During this time, member countries are implored to better understand the recommendations and all their implications before the vote.

Now, if the vote goes sideways in December, and the recommendations are rejected, then the old rules regarding cannabis apply. Cannabis is illegal, a schedule I drug according to the Single Convention, and CBD and all other cannabinoids are scheduled the same.

This would erase a lot of the progress that’s been made in the gray area of the last few years, and essentially illegalize CBD. If that happens, what’s going on between France and the EU won’t matter at all. But if those recommendations go through…well there might be some very interesting CBD case laws coming out of the EU thanks to France and its super stringent policies about cannabis.’

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It’s not only CBD edibles

This case didn’t start out being about cross-border trading within the EU. It started out simply as a violation of French law. In 2014 Sébastien Béguerie and Antonin Cohen-Adad, the owners of Kanavape were arrested for selling a CBD product in France which was made in the Czech Republic and imported to France.

The product didn’t break with standard EU law, as it had within .2% THC – max by EU standard, and was cultivated according to EU regulation. But the import went against French law which stipulates any amount of THC in a product makes it illegal, and that products can only be sourced from certain parts of the plant.

The two men were found guilty in France, and when they appealed their case in France, the judge kicked the case to the EU to see if France’s restrictions went against EU law. Now, several years later, the case is being heard in Luxembourg by the highest court of the EU – the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), kind of like a Supreme Court, the decision of which will be binding all throughout the EU.

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Beth Edmonds