In Grenoble, a trader convicted for the marketing of CBD wins his case with the Court of Cassation

A major breakthrough for traders selling CBD? This Tuesday, June 23, the Court of Cassation quashed a judgment condemning the manager of a shop in Grenoble which sold products based on cannabidiol (CBD) – the non-psychotropic molecule of cannabis – and ordered a new trial in Paris.

The ban on the marketing of a product from a member state in question

In its judgment, the highest court explains that under the free movement of goods within the European Union (EU), the marketing of CBD in a Member State cannot be prohibited if this product is legally produced in another member state.

However, this question remains unanswered because the judges of the Grenoble Court of Appeal “did not investigate, when asked, whether the CBD discovered in the store run by the defendant was legally manufactured in another EU state”, she explains.

The Court of Cassation specifies that in this case, it did not settle the substantive question of “whether France can validly or not avail itself of the objective of protecting public health to prohibit the possession and marketing of CBD on its territory”.

Legal vagueness around CBD

The case started in January 2019, when the police discovered products containing cannabis in a Grenoble store. In June 2019, the Grenoble Criminal Court acquitted the store manager on charges of complicity in the unauthorized acquisition, possession, offer or sale of narcotic products. The prosecution had appealed.

A year later, in June 2020, the Grenoble Court of Appeal reversed the judgment and found the manager guilty, who lodged an appeal in cassation. Legal uncertainty persists around the CBD in France, where the authorities have closed dozens of shops selling this “cannabis light“, without euphoric effect and prized for its relaxing virtues.

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In November 2020, European justice rejected the ban on CBD in France, emphasizing the harmlessness of this non-psychotropic cannabis molecule, a decision hailed as a “snub” by hemp enthusiasts and which whets the economic appetites around of this plant. On June 15, the Court of Cassation ruled in favor of a Dijon store that sold CBD-based products, and contested its closure declared in 2018 by the authorities.