The French Council of State recently ruled against banning hemp flowers.
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 Spain to have the highest cannabis use rate in the world, with more than 1 in 10 adults in France having used cannabis in the last year.
As in the rest of the world, cannabis products with a low THC content are gaining popularity in France. Cannabis is derived low in THC hemp and is often called “floral hemp.”
As the floral hemp does not look different from the non-hemp cannabis flower, it has caused some confiscations by law enforcement.
The French Council of State recently ruled that such seizures were illegal.
Deprived of narcotic properties
In his ruling, the judge overseeing the binding case overturning the ban on raw hemp flowers indicated that the decision was based on a lack of “narcotic properties.”
In accordance with French law“Production, manufacture, transport, import, export, possession, supply, transfer, acquisition or use of cannabis (plants, resin and derived products)” is prohibited.
However, French law also provides for the “cultivation, import, export and industrial and commercial use of cannabis varieties devoid of narcotic properties.”
The judge ruled that anything below 0.3% THC content has no narcotic properties and therefore any ban on these products is illegal.
No doubt the court ruling will infuriate the community against cannabis.
If history is a guide, local law enforcement agencies will act confused and urge lawmakers to pass tougher policies to “clear up the confusion.”
Hopefully, French lawmakers will refrain from taking the bait of cannabis opponents and instead use it as an opportunity to put the European nation on the right side of history.
As Malta has recently become the first country to legalize cannabis for adult use in Europe and many countries on the continent are pursuing sound plans for the medical cannabis industry, it would be prudent for France to start with the program sooner rather than later.