Though cannabis, and the primary psychoactive ingredient delta-9 THC, are banned in France, the situation is changing when it comes to hemp derived THC. Delta-8, the hemp based cousin of delta-9, falls into an unusual gray area legally speaking. Hemp is permitted, but only in specific ways. There are still limits imposed in France, but the country may be turning a corner when it comes to hemp derived THC.
What Hemp Products are Permitted in France?
According to the EU’s Novel Food and Drug Act, hemp products are classified as food within the member states. France abides by the rule and allows hemp products if they are used for food or industrial uses. This means that delta-8 gummies or edibles are allowed, but recently the French government chose to expand this allowance even further. In December 2021, the French Ministry of Solidarity and Health decreed hemp based products, including those with delta-8, would be allowed if it contains less than .3 percent delta-9 THC. Effectively, this parallels the standards set by the United States in the 2018 Farm Bill.
What Does France Prohibit?
France did not willingly expand the law when it came to delta-8, the authorities only did so after the CJEU affirmed its stance on the regulation and sale of CBD in Europe. Because of this, only hemp extracts, including delta-8 extracts, are permitted, not the actual hemp flower. This is because extracts, including vapeable extracts, can still be labeled as food products, while hemp flowers and leaves are seen as a product that could be smoked. Meaning, delta-8 is available in France, but only in limited forms. It remains to be seen if this will lead to an expansion of the cannabis market in France, or if the French government will only align itself with the policies set by the rest of the EU.
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