CBD is not a psychotropic agent or narcotic; nonetheless, some legal authorities in individual nations continue to misinterpret specific laws. In the mid of the 20th century, all kinds of cannabis extracts were illegalized and classified as drugs/narcotics. However, from the beginning of 21st-century laws have been amended, after realizing that CBD is neither psychotropic nor narcotic.
One company in France got into trouble by importing CBD products from the Czech Republic. It happened because France failed to revise specific legislations. Thus, as per France only hemp seed and fibre products are legal, and extracts from whole Cannabis sativa plant remain illegal, even if they contain no psychotropic agent like THC.
Implementation of this law led to trouble for many importers of CBD products in France. With directors of one organization even getting a suspended term of imprisonment and a hefty fine of 10 000 EUR.
However, the individuals mentioned above continued to challenge the findings of the French Court, and finally had its decision overruled by the EU court.
It is wrong, and against the principles of the EU to penalize someone for importing CBD products that were legally produced in another member state. Initiation of criminal proceedings by the French Court goes against multiple EU norms.
The EU court observed that penalizing individuals for importing products that are legal in the other EU member state goes against the principles of free movement of goods within the European Union as mentioned in articles 34 and 36 TFEU.
EU court also noticed that French court interpreted certain laws literally, and thus failing to understand that although Cannabis extract from the whole plant might contain narcotic substances, this is not true for CBD products. CBD is neither psychotropic nor harmful to human health.
Although, this particular ruling did say that the French Republic or its legal courts can still ban the movement of certain goods that are legal in the other EU member states. However, they should only do that if they find a particular product to be hazardous to public health.
There are many implications for this ruling by the EU court. It still does not mean that one may not get into any trouble for importing CBD into France, but it does mean that one can expect the right interpretation of various legislations in the country. It may lead to specific changes in the law, thus eliminating the risk of being penalized.
This EU court ruling means that France will have to reconsider how specific laws are implemented in the country so that they are in line with other EU states. It means that in future, CBD products might be easily imported into the country. However, it is worth understanding that France may still object to the import of certain CBD products based on health concerns. Nonetheless, it is vital and pivotal ruling by the EU law court that may have a wide-ranging, and positive impacts on the CBD business, and availability of CBD products in the country.