Europe’s hemp industry hit a milestone last week when the European Union’s top court liberated CBD from the jurisdiction of an international drug treaty, declaring that hemp-derived cannabidiol is not a narcotic.
Hemp groups in France and elsewhere in Europe gave the five judges a standing ovation for the Kanavape ruling, which declared that France’s national ban on marketing hemp-derived CBD products violated EU law on the free movement of goods within the bloc.
CBD is covered by the EU’s free movement provision, the judges said, because it is not a narcotic under “the purpose and general spirit” of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961).
“It is the most positive decision possible in our opinion, lifting the veil on the ‘non-narcotic’ status of extracts of the whole hemp plant … and allowing it’s free movement within the EU,” said Aurelien Delecroix, president of French hemp industry group Syndicat du Chanvre.
“The specifics of this case related to whether the French law (which prohibited the use of certain elements of the plant – the flowering and fruiting tops) was incompatible with the obligation of all Member States, such that the use of all elements of the plant was lawful. The phraseology of the court was used to draw the distinction between the use of the whole plant and limited elements of the plant – the fibres and seeds. The Court’s decision is applicable to any and all elements of the plant.”
-Matt Lawson, co-founder of London-based industry group The Canna Consultants
“We believe that the EU Commission will have to recognise the ruling and remove the prohibition on the risk assessment phase of the CBD novel food applications which are before EFSA, however, this again may not be swiftly done and will depend on political, rather than purely legal decisions.”
-Steve Oliver, co-founder of The Canna Consultants
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Source: Hemp Industry Daily