France has implemented a new decree allowing hemp farmers not to destroy their flowers and to extract hemp from all parts of the plant. However, the decree also prohibits the sale of CBD flowers to consumers – a major blow for the French market.
France implemented article R. 5132-86 of the French Public Health Code on December 30, 2021, which regulates hemp products. This includes imports and exports, cultivation, and sales and commercial use.
The good news is that farmers no longer have to destroy their flower crops. However, it also prohibits the sale CBD flowers to consumers on health grounds.
This development has seen a united front against the regulation from industry bodies, including The Syndicat du Chanvre (The Professional Hemp Union), L630, the Union des Professionnels du CBD and others.
In a statement, drug policy reform organisation , L630, said: “The catastrophic results of this policy would require a reform, to put an end to the chaos of prohibition, but, conversely, France is tightening its regulations, claiming to ban even non-psychotropic CBD flowers, normally marketed in our European neighbours, as in France, for a few years now.
“This decree poses solid legal problems. It violates constitutionally guaranteed freedom of commerce and industry, and undermines thousands of jobs without serious justification.”
And continued to say: “At a time when Germany plans to legalise cannabis, and even as Europe markets hemp-derived products more and more widely, France is once again choosing to take the opposite view.
“The French prohibitionist exception will not resist this global movement which is being rolled out nationally through the mobilization of more and more numerous and increasingly strong actors. One thing is now certain, it will be necessary to face the anger of the many economic actors of CBD who could well rely on the dissatisfaction of their customers…
“L630 calls on all unions and professionals to unite to challenge this manifestly illegal decree in court. It remains at their disposal to ensure the conditions of union and to respond with a loud and clear voice to a government which is absurdly obstinate.”
Syndicat du Chanvre, which brings together players in the French wellness hemp, medical cannabis and textile hemp sectors, commented in an online post: “It is incredible that France wishes to continue to ignore the law on the subject … and to take decisions that are the exact opposite of the objectives it displays in terms of health or the fight against trafficking.” [translated from Google]
In a public statement, it commented to say: “…from an economic point of view, the union can only be saddened by the loss of revenue that this decree represents.
“Indeed, CBD hemp flowers represent 50 per cent of the CBD market, i.e. nearly €1bn in business volume. The ban on the sale of hemp flowers can only lead to a wave of redundancies of several thousand jobs for all the actors of the sector, especially the traders.
“This loss of economic opportunity will benefit economic actors in other European countries who will be able to continue shipping to France.
“The Hemp Union will challenge this decision before the administrative courts in the coming weeks. Until then, the union calls on the Government to start a dialogue with the French hemp industry.”
A petition has also been launched calling to annul the decree regarding the prohibition of flower sales. The petition, launched by Éric Juilliat, CEO of French Swiss Hemp, already has nearly 28,000 signatures (at the time of publishing), just days following its launch.
Speaking to Cannabis Wealth, Juilliat commented: “I launched this citizen petition to raise awareness that this decree is unjust.
“It was my duty as a free, French citizen to create this petition in order to make our government understand that this decision was unfair to the entire hemp industry, while in other countries this molecule is not prohibited.”
The petition highlights that most people consume CBD flower for THC weaning and that the ban will push many back to using black markets, forcing them to fall back on an uncontrolled substance with a high THC level.
Lorenza Romanese, managing director at the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), a pan-European membership organisation representing hemp farmers and producers, said in a comment to CannabisWealth: “We certainly welcome the French decision to allow operators to extract hemp from all parts of the plant.
“As EIHA we defend the total crop valuation and this decision certainly goes in the right direction. Nevertheless, we should recall that because of lengthy decisions, EU operators have lost part of the market (especially the isolate CBD) as they will never be able to compete with US prices.”
However, Romanese highlights that the prohibition of flower sales will negatively impact the hemp leaf market.
“In particular, the sale to consumers of flowers or raw leaves in all their forms, alone or in combination with other ingredients, their possession by consumers and their consumption are prohibited,” added Romanese.
“That does not help the EU hemp leaf (tea) market which EIHA defends and which is perfectly legal in other Member States.”
Yannick Jadot, a candidate for the presidential election, has expressed his support for producers and sellers.
CBD : le gouvernement démontre sa méconnaissance absolu du sujet, prisonnier qu’il est de sa politique de répression inefficace et dangereuse contre le cannabis. Soutien aux producteurs et aux vendeurs.#Jadot2022 🌻
— Yannick Jadot (@yjadot) January 4, 2022
[Google translation]: CBD: the government demonstrates its absolute ignorance of the subject, prisoner as it is of its policy of ineffective and dangerous repression against cannabis. Support for producers and sellers.
The decree was implemented following the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal dropping its charges against French company KanaVape, which was prosecuted for breaking French law by selling vapourisers containing CBD oil extracted from the whole cannabis plant.
The dropped charges confirmed the ruling made in November 2020 by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that CBD is not a narcotic and that EU Member States may not ban the marketing of CBD when extracted from the whole plant.
Former co-director of KanaVape, Antonin Cohen, publicly commented on the development to say that: “Hemp farmers don’t have to destroy their flowers anymore. Now, we can legally extract CBD in France. French authorities have been forced to publish this new law following my victory at the European Court of Justice in the Kanavape Case.
“Unfortunately, the new law clarifies again that hemp flowers cannot be sold to end consumers. Such a shame because hemp flowers are an excellent risk-reduction tool for cannabis smokers. Also very good to use in herbal infusions.
“So much more work to achieve for the complete liberation of traditional plants. The fight is just getting started.”
Italy passes decree that could put CBD farmers at risk of jail
Marco Perduca of Associazione Luca Coscioni says the decree puts Italy’s entire supply chain at risk.
Italy has passed a decree that prohibits the cultivation of CBD crops without authorisation from the country’s Ministry of Health.
CBD cultivation has been legal in Italy since 2016 after a unanimous vote in parliament. However, this month the Conference of State and Regions adopted a Ministerial Decree which now prohibits the crop’s cultivation.
Farmers, which until have been allowed to grow crops containing a limit of 0.2 to 0.5 per cent THC, will only be able to cultivate hemp crops unless given authorisation from the Ministry of Health. The ruling mirrors the current law surrounding the cultivation of higher THC cannabis crops for medical purposes.
With CBD available in shops across the country, the move is one in complete contrast to the direction of the rest of Europe, bar France, which recently passed a decree banning the sale of CBD flowers to consumers.
It will also put the entirety of Italy’s CBD supply chain at risk, says president of Italy’s cannabis referendum committee ReferendumCannabis and co-founder of Associazione Luca Coscioni, Marco Perduca.
Speaking to Cannabis Wealth, Perduca commented: “This has always been in the back of the centre right’s mind.
“The Ministerial Decree which is another vehicle to make law – even if it’s more on the administrative rather than and the lawmaking level – in which they re-included plans for reducing CBD under the regular rules set by the text on all drugs.”
“This will imply for those already in the business and the newcomers, to seek a permit from the Ministry of Health, which per se will not be a problem. But why would you have to ask, or re-ask permission for a well-established enterprise, to a ministry that has nothing to do with the oils, soaps and edibles that are produced using some CBD and a very minimal percentage of THC?”
Perduca highlights a debate is set with the president of the Agriculture Committee on the matter.
“It’s an interpretation of the law. It is not opinion-makers that make interpretations of the law – it is a judge. So, if you have the police that come to your shop, or to your house or to your farm and would like to know more on what you are producing or selling, they can confiscate everything and block your activity until further notice.
“This is an additional burden on an already not-working system of justice. It is also a sort of CBD scare that has been launched against in particular shops and entrepreneurs – about 10,000 people that work in 3000 Small and Medium Enterprises which generate around €40m per year.
“It’s an important part of our agricultural economy, and it’s mainly young people that invest in these kinds of enterprises.’
Together with Leonardo Fiorentini, member of Forum Droghe, Perduca stated that the discussion of the decree took place days following the first meeting between the Ministry of Health and the country’s cannabis patient associations to discuss supply requirements.
They stated: “The version in front of the delegates risks canceling, if not sending to jail, the entire cannabis light [CBD] sector in Italy…
“The World Health Organization has repeatedly recommended the exclusion of the properties of CBD from banned substances, some of these were collected by the UN Drugs Commission which in December 2020 canceled cannabis from the IV table of the 1961 Convention with a vote favourable of Italy.
“To insert this submission of production to the rules of 309/90 with a Ministerial Decree, as well as going against common sense, is legally very questionable. Certainly, we need a regulation that clarifies what it can be cultivated and how to guarantee the quantity and quality of therapeutic cannabinoids necessary to guarantee the therapeutic plans of tens of thousands of people: products with a certain threshold of CBD must be treated as drugs, those below as supplements, as is already the case today for many other substances also in other EU states.
“We appeal to the competent Ministers to amend the Decree to art. 1 paragraph 4. If not, we will organize a coordinated response between patients and entrepreneurs to definitively send anti-scientific and ideological measures to the attic.” [translated from Google]
CBD-brand MYO launches in Boots across the UK
MYO will be available in 838 Boots stores across the country.
CBD-brand MYO has hit a major milestone in its journey with a new partnership that will see its products stocked in the leading UK health and beauty retailer’s stores.
Boots will stock MYO‘s Plant Proteins in 838 stores, branched-chain amino acids and essential amino acids in up to 574 stores, and functional sprays in 522 stores.
MYO, acquired by global vertically integrated wellness platform Yooma Wellness in March 2021, is one of the few brands whose CBD products have passed the UK Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) validation assessment.
James Lawson Baker, Founder of MYO Plant Nutrition, commented: “This is a major milestone for MYO and we are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Boots, the leading health and beauty retailer in the UK.
“A listing of this size gives the brand enormous national exposure and deepens our footprint within mainstream UK retail.
“The listing will support MYO in making plant-based active nutrition and wellness products mainstream and accessible.
“The partnership is a testament to the high-quality product and brand offering that we have built over the past year. We look forward to building our credibility amongst Boots’ customers going forward.”
The product listing with Boots adds to its list of retail chains where its products are available, including Holland & Barrett, Selfridges, Lloyds Pharmacy and Amazon.
Jordan Greenberg, CEO of Yooma, commented: “MYO Plant Nutrition is an exceptional example of how Yooma’s buy-and-build strategy creates shareholder value.
“MYO continues to surpass expectations with its increased availability in UK’s most reputable retailers and it has the honour of being known as one of the few brands to have passed the FSA’s validation assessment.”
British Cannabis celebrate products receiving confirmation from FSA
British Cannabis is dedicated to ensuring the long-term continuity of cannabis-based food supplements in the UK
British Cannabis products receive confirmation of being the first Cannabis-derived CBD oils and supplements set to remain on the market
British Cannabis™, registered as CBD Health Foods Ltd, is delighted to become the first company to receive confirmation from the Food Standards Agency UK (FSA). that its cannabis-derived products will remain on the market.
On Thursday 13th January 2022, the FSA confirmed via emails to British Cannabis CEO, Thomas Whettem, that the evidence submitted in support of 15 dossiers, spanning over 3,000 products “has been checked and is sufficient” and that “the public list will be amended to reflect these changes”.
Meanwhile, it is widely speculated that an as-yet-undetermined number of other products, made by other manufacturers, will be removed from shelves by Trading Standards. This process looks set to begin once the FSA public lists are updated later in 2022.
British Cannabis products
Robert Jappie, the partner at legal firm Ince and preeminent cannabis industry lawyer, remarked at the news: “I’m delighted that British Cannabis has received a positive response from the FSA to their Novel Food submission. Admission of British Cannabis’ products to the compliance registers confirms the company’s position at the forefront of the U.K. CBD industry. Novel Food compliance should now provide a platform for the sector to build on its fantastic success to date.”
Over the course of 18 months and a multi-million-pound investment, British Cannabis, whose brands are stocked across many pharmacies and retailers internationally, have dedicated themselves to ensuring the long-term continuity of all-natural, cannabis-based food supplements in the UK. This is for the reassurance of their own consumers and of all the customers whose brands are powered by British Cannabis.
Making this achievement of particular note is the fact that British Cannabis products are among the few remaining on the market to use ‘100 per cent Cannabis sativa L.”, naturally derived formulas, thus they contain the hundreds of clinically proven plant phytochemicals found in cannabis, whilst also being 0 per cent THC, meaning that they will not cause a “high”. Their food supplements (CBD oils, capsules etc.) are also free from other controlled cannabinoids.
British Cannabis’ CEO, Thomas Whettem, reacted shortly after hearing the great news: “Confirmation directly from the Food Standards Agency, that British Cannabis will be the first manufacturer In the world to have cannabis-derived consumer products ratified by the UK government, is yet another monumental breakthrough in our history. For years we have not just pioneered change in this industry but strived to set the bar when it comes to compliance, safety and the simple dedication to excellence we have had since day one.”
British Cannabis’ Managing Director, David Ralson, commented on this landmark news: “This is a huge milestone for our business and the Cannabis industry as a whole. I would firstly like to pay testimony to our staff, who over the past 6 years have endeavoured to make British Cannabis the leading legal-cannabis experts in our sector and this exemplifies our phrase ‘’We Know More Because We Do More’’.
We have always believed in wholly cannabis-derived, natural products and obtaining the highest quality standards. This is underpinned by our own retail brands, which to date have received over 4,200 Trustpilot reviews with a 5-Star rating.
This also paves the way for our trusted white label partners brands, who continue to work with us, to also remain on the UK market. This allows our business and its compliant partners to continue to grow in what is going to be a very exciting year indeed.”
At the time of release, the Novel Foods public lists have yet to be updated.