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In a high court judgment with far-reaching ramifications about EU governance vs member state law, the EU beat France making CBD legal throughout the EU, and setting a precedent for lots of cases in the future.
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What was the case initially about?
Prior to we get to the ins and outs of this landmark EU high court judgment, let’s take a look at the case that forced its way to the top of the EU judicial system. The story begins in 2014 when Sébastien Béguerie and Antonin Cohen were prosecuted under French law for marketing and selling a hemp-derived CBD vape product under the name Kanavape. France has extremely specific laws concerning the parts of a cannabis plant that can be used (only the fiber and seeds), and the quantity of THC that can be in a product. The latter, in reality, is 0% since 2018, which produced a vital ban on CBD oil, since its almost impossible to develop a CBD oil without a minimum of a trace quantity of THC. France also does not enable the leaves or flowers of a marijuana plant to be used for preparations of any kind, and the Kanavape item was made from the entire plant.
Béguerie and Cohen were importing and selling a Kanavape item that was made in the Czech Republic. Though this Kanavape product followed all EU mandates concerning the usage and sale of CBD products, especially the parts of the plant used, and a THC content that didn’t surpass.2%, it didn’t gel with French law which disagreed with the parts of the plant utilized, and the THC in the item. The two were condemned.
After the guilty decision, the two guys appealed their case, citing that the product they imported and sold was completely legal by EU law, which EU law permits the free trade of products across EU member state borders so long as the products fulfill EU standards. In this case, they did, and in time it was eventually kicked approximately the greatest court in the EU, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg, which had never ever made a ruling on CBD legality prior to. Today, November 19th, 2020, the court gave its ruling.
The court was tasked with making a judgment with a lot of further ramifications. Within the world of CBD itself it would make it impossible for any member state to reject an import that meets EU requirements, thus legislating CBD in all EU nations. The 2nd element is that as part of the ruling, the court also had to decide whether CBD itself is a narcotic, therefore setting an EU standard for that too, and requiring that requirement on all member states. Last, through these decisions, the EU set a requirement for the basic trade of items– CBD or anything else– leaving a big area open for new litigation and legislation based on this brand-new case law.