European Court of Justice Rules CBD not a Narcotic
European Court of Justice Rules CBD not a Narcotic, opening a new window for a reform on CBD regulations in France and all over Europe and may force other national regulators to reexamine existing restrictions related to hemp-derived products in the EU.
The case in subject is the popular French Kanavape case, involving the two directors of Catlab SAS, who were prosecuted and fined for selling Kanavape, a vape product marketed in France that contains CBD legally grown, extracted and supplied from the Czech Republic.
This European Court stated that when taking into account the ‘purpose and general spirit’ of the 1961 UN Single Convention, CBD should not be considered a narcotic as CBD does not “have any psychotropic effect or any harmful effect on human health”. Specifically, the court ruled that EU states cannot ban the marketing of CBD legally produced in another member state unless a risk to public health “appears sufficiently established”.
European Union Movement of Goods
EU law establishes the free movement of goods within the Union, save for exceptions like the protection of public health. Narcotic drugs fall into this category, which may only be produced and traded under tight control for medical purposes. As part of its ruling, the CJEU considered whether hemp flower-derived CBD can be considered a narcotic under international treaty definitions – given that if so, France would be entitled to prohibit its sale.
“It should be recalled that the free movement of goods between Member States is a fundamental principle of the FEU Treaty which is expressed in the prohibition of quantitative restrictions on imports between Member States and all measures having equivalent effect”
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