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France: publication on the new law on the use of hemp

The French Authorities have published the Law of 30 December 2021 on the use of hemp (Cannabis sativa), replacing the Law of 22 August 1990 (which had been the subject of case law).

Concretely, the new law establishes in particular the following changes in France:

– An extension of the authorization for cultivation, import, export and industrial and commercial use of hemp, under certain conditions, to all parts of the hemp plant. But with the use of the flowers and leaves only for the industrial production of hemp extracts. In particular, the sale to consumers of raw flowers or leaves in all their forms, alone or in combination with other ingredients (eg smoking products, herbal teas), their possession by consumers and their consumption are prohibited.

These general provisions are without prejudice to stricter sectoral provisions. For foods: Only hemp seeds and derived products are authorized in foods. Since CBD is considered as a novel food, CBD and foods containing it cannot be marketed without prior evaluation by EFSA and authorization according Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. To date, several files are under assessment by EFSA.

– A maximum THC content of 0.3% for the plant (in line with the rules relating to the Common Agricultural Policy which will come into force on 1 January 2023). All products containing more than 0.3% THC are considered narcotics and as such prohibited.

These general provisions are without prejudice to more stringent sectoral provisions, in particular for foodstuffs, to ensure that there is no risk to human health.

– An extension of the authorized varieties.

Photo by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash