The European Court of Justice ruled on a crucial case last week that could have large consequences over the commercialization of CBD across Europe.
The ruling body — the supreme court of the union in matters of European Union law — ruled that CBD is not a narcotic. This extends the principle of free movement of goods within the union to CBD products produced legally, Prohibition Partners reported.
A Landmark Ruling: The Kavapave Case
The court ruling also means that EU member states cannot ban the sale of CBD when produced in another member state. The ruling came in relation to the Kanavape case, where a brand of CBD vaporizers was prosecuted by French authorities in 2014 for importing CBD legally produced in the Czech Republic.
In the case, the CBD imported by Catlab SAS, Kanavape’s parent company, didn’t fit into France’s CBD regulation, which demanded that the compound be extracted from the fiber and seeds of the plant, instead of the leaves and flowers, reported DLA Piper on Lexology.
Catlab appealed, stating that the French regulation was against EU law.
EU law generally recognizes the definition of cannabis laid out in the UN’s 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. But since CBD is not listed in that document, and there appears to be no proof that the compound can cause the health damages that the convention attributes to cannabis, the European Court was forced to acknowledge that CBD cannot be considered a harmful narcotic.
The ruling also clarified that CBD marketed in the European Union can be sourced from any part of the cannabis plant, as long as it comes from legal, THC-low cultivations.
This decision is expected to unlock several processes of approval for CBD products within the union, including Novel Foods and Cosmetics.
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