Until recently, French law on importation and sale of CBD was very restrictive. The Arrêté of 22 August 1990 only allowed the sale of hemp products made from fibers and seeds of cannabis sativa varieties with a THC content not exceeding 0.2%. In addition, the French government imposed that final CBD-based product should not contain any trace of THC. The problem with CBD is that such substance is mainly extracted from the leaves and flowers of the hemp.

Pursuant to a judgement from the Court of Justice of the European Union[1], the French Supreme Court has issued a decision on 23rd of June 2021[2] which removed these restrictions and considers now that:

  • any part of the cannabis sativa varieties with a THC content not exceeding 0.2% can be used to produce CBD
  • the sale of CBD-based products is allowed provided the amount of THC in the products does not exceed 0.2%.

The French government should adopt a regulation to consolidate this case law soon.

Meanwhile, if you want to import and sell CBD-based products in France, you should think about the additional regulations you may face for the sale of such products, specifically for the following categories:

  • e-cigarettes
  • oils
  • novel food
  • cosmetic products

Our law firm, which has already advised several companies on this subject, remains at your disposal for any information and to assist you in your procedures

[1] CJEU, 19 november 2020, BS and CA, C-663/18

[2] Cour de cassation, chambre criminelle, arrêt n°810 du 23 juin 2021 (20-84.212)