Historic decision in Europe – legal CBD!
The decision represents a milestone and a huge boost to the CBD industry in Europe and around the world, and will hopefully create the necessary change in Israel as well. The ruling follows a case by KanaVape executives that began in 2014. The decision will advance the CBD regulations in Europe and provide a clearer way to comply with the regulations of CBD companies.
The court ruled that: “A member state may not prohibit the marketing of cannabidiol (CBD) lawly produced in another member state when it is produced from the cannabis plant Sativa in its entirety and not only from its fibers and seeds.”
The CBD ruling also states: “Derived from the whole cannabis plant Sativa cannot be considered an agricultural product, as opposed to raw hemp, for example.”
The court states that in order to define the terms ‘drug’ or ‘narcotic drug’ EU law refers to two UN treaties: the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the Only Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
However, CBD is not mentioned in the First Charter at all, and although a verbal interpretation of the second covenant may lead to its classification as a drug, such interpretation would be contrary to the general spirit of that convention and its purpose to protect the ‘health and well-being of humanity‘, the court ruled.
The court also stressed that CBD has no psychotropic effects, as opposed to THC, and does not have a detrimental effect on human health. The court accepts that the French Republic is not required to prove that the risk of CBD is the same as that of certain narcotics, but at the same time, the National Court of Justice must evaluate available scientific data to ensure that the real risk to public health does not appear to be based on hypothetical considerations.
A decision to ban CBD marketing, which is indeed the most restrictive barrier to the trade in lawfully produced products marketed in other member states, can only be adopted if this risk seems sufficiently established.
Positive news for the sector
In the KanaVape case in 2014, the company was indicted for violating French law by selling cartridges to vaporly CBD oil extracted from all parts of the cannabis plant, something French law prohibits. However, KanaVape legally exhausted the oil at a factory in the Czech Union, where this is permitted, which led to the cancellation of the initial ruling on the appeal from 2018 because it contravenes the principle of free movement of goods in the EUROPEAN Union. The impact of this decision goes far beyond France. The court’s decision sets a binding precedent with achievement on a European scale. “This is definitely an important decision for the European CBD industry,” said Adela Williams, a partner at the Law Society of the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI). “The Supreme Court of the European Union has decided that EU member states are not permitted to prohibit the marketing of CBD products lawfully produced in other member states, unless a real risk to public health has been proven.