In a recent legal case, the marketing of a CBD-based e-cigarette known as Kanavape in France led to manufacturers being convicted of drug charges. This resulted in a fine of €10,000 and an 18 month prison sentence.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, and it contains less than 0.2% THC, which is the chemical responsible for inducing a “high”. The products were imported from the Czech Republic, where the organic hemp plants used to make the products were processed.
But, Europe’s highest court has ruled that banning the marketing of CBD oil imported from other EU countries goes against EU law. The court ruled that, since there’s no scientific evidence of any psychotropic effects from hemp products, the legal charges go against the official laws.
The legal case was originally brought forward as the French regulatory framework forbids all marketing of products derived from hemp plants. This includes those that only contain the cannabidiol compound, also known as CBD.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the decision was unlawful as the products were legally manufactured and marketed within the EU. Furthermore, other member states cannot restrict these products unless they pose a known public health risk to consumers.
In its ruling, the ECJ stated that, according to the latest scientific knowledge, CBD “does not appear to have any psychotropic effect or any harmful effect on human health”.
Additionally, in the United Nations conventions on narcotics and psychotropic substances, CBD has never been mentioned. In order to classify a product as a harmful narcotic, it would need to be included in this, otherwise there is no basis for the claim.
In Europe, the CBD market is already booming, and it is expected to grow by another 400% by 2023. This ruling is seen as a major victory for manufacturers, as it has provided clarity on the framework for the production, sale, and use of CBD throughout Europe.
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