The CBD and the legislation that surrounds it is still unclear in France. The UPCBD or the Union of CBD Professionals was therefore created a few months ago. We are talking to you about this new institution which brings together the actors of the CBD.
Why this initiative?
CBD, cannabidiol or poetically called wellness hemp has been talked about a lot for quite a few years. France, the largest producer of hemp in Europe, should see this new sector as a means of boosting the industry. And yet, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Yes, the French government has embarked on a real witch hunt by closing CBD shops everywhere. All this relying on unclear legislation regarding the legality of marketing CBD products.
France already had two institutions in the hemp sector, namely the UIVEC or the Union des Industriels pour la valorization des extracts de hemp and the Syndicat du hemp. But given the situation, a new association was born on June 22. This is the Union of CBD Professionals or the UPCBD.
So what is the UPCBD?
The UPCBD or the Union of CBD Professionals is a non-profit association that brings together around 100 members today. Among them are distributors, producers, laboratories, processors, online cannabidiol traders. All these professionals work for the same cause: to create an adapted legal framework around hemp well-being.
The association has also set up four action plans to promote CBD:
– Make people aware of the different virtues of cannabidiol,
– Give a boost to the implementation of labels and certifications,
– Encourage CBD professionals to adopt good practices to finally achieve the implementation of standards,
– Work to allow the well-being hemp sector to evolve as it goes.
The 9 proposals of the UPCBD
Here are word for word the 9 proposals of the UPCBD:
1. Proceed to the concerted clarification by regulatory or legislative means of the status of products containing CBD. Within the framework of this clarification to intervene, delete the mention “fibers and seeds” appearing in article 1 of the decree of August 22, 1990 and expressly enter the authorization of cultivation, importation, exportation. , the extraction and use of all parts of the hemp plant for industrial and commercial purposes, including the flower.
2. Record the unjustified and inappropriate nature of maintaining the 0% THC threshold in finished products and quickly integrate into national regulations THC thresholds specific to each category of finished product likely to contain CBD (food, e-liquids, cosmetics) in line with scientific data and practices in such matters of members of the European market (define a relevant threshold, which we estimate to be 1% THC to have a natural product without washing which degrades the quality of the plant).
3. Bring together all the texts making up the existing regulations and to intervene applicable to all the products making up the CBD sector in a single act in order to ensure the legal security of the players in the sector.
4. Adoption of clear health regulations for CBD products that:
- · Exclude at-risk audiences (children and pregnant women) from access to products containing CBD.
- · Define non-binding recommended daily doses (RDI) for the consumption of CBD, to be mentioned on product packaging alongside warnings on currently known risks to human health (liver damage and drug interactions);
- · Guarantee the traceability of the various products for better information to consumers (cultivation, processing, packaging, storage, etc.)
5. In order to differentiate what must be and put an end to the counterproductive, unequal and arbitrary harassment of economic actors, provide control services (customs, police, gendarmerie) with efficient and rapid detection tools making it possible to distinguish between precisely, according to indisputable protocols, the respective contents of CBD and THC of hemp flowers.
ACCOMPANY (Promote, Support, Encourage)
6. Support the structuring of a “well-being hemp” sector in order to strengthen the defense of the interests of French professionals in this important European market under construction, and grant it a degree of self-regulation as exists in many sectors . The establishment of financial, logistical and administrative support mechanisms should make France the leading European producer and exporter of “welfare” hemp.
7. Support the agricultural hemp industry as part of the green recovery, by promoting short circuits and enhancing the qualities of this plant (soil structuring, biodiversity, CO2 capture, etc.).
8. Extend the national catalog to the most relevant varieties from the European catalog so as not to place French players in an unfair situation vis-à-vis other economic players on the European market, and promote variety research.
9. Clearly set the VAT rate (s) applicable to the different categories of products containing CBD.
The battles led by the UPCBD
The arrangements made after the exchange of July 8, 2021 with the General Delegate of MIDELCA did not arouse the thirst of CBD professionals.
CBD flowers and leaves remain illegal
The law states that the production, harvest, import and use of hemp flowers and leaves are only legal in connection with the production of hemp extracts. The sale of hemp flowers and leaves to the consumer, in any form or mixed with other ingredients, remains prohibited. The same is true for the possession of these products.
The purchase of hemp flowers or leaves in France must be made under contract between the producer and the buyer. The quantity as well as the price must appear in this document. And this contract must be made before the start of production.
Products under close surveillance
France is very strict about the free circulation of CBD products. They cannot be imported or exported without documents certifying that they comply with the regulations.
There is enough to put down the renewed hope after the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union of November 19, 2020 and those of the Court of Cassation of June 15 and 23, 2021. This ban on the marketing of flowers is a real threat to the hemp industry in France.
A completely different situation
Despite these numerous decisions that are supposed to end this debate on the legality of selling CBD products, there are no real changes in the situation. Indeed, the police as well as the prosecution continue their witch hunt. They are suing CBD professionals and enforcing the administrative closure of CBD shops. All these actions based on the law against narcotics. Absurd thing since, as we know, cannabidiol is not a narcotic. And what is most distressing, according to the UPCBD, is that Justice believes that the CBD shops are in no way aware that they are selling drugs.
This is why the UPCBD continues its battles on different fronts:
- The overriding question of constitutionality: associating CBD flowers with a narcotic is totally unconstitutional. Why ? According to the fundamental rules of criminal matters, the law can only prohibit an action if the reasons are clear and intelligible. And this is not the case with the flowers of CBD0.
- The preliminary question on CBD flowers: the Kanavape judgment offers protection to CBD players. But it only applies to finished products, thus excluding the CBD flower according to the French authorities. By introducing a question for a preliminary ruling, the UPCBD hopes to see welfare hemp flowers one day enter the category of authorized goods. All this within the framework of the free movement of goods in Europe.
In short, the UPCBD was created to defend the rights of CBD and all stakeholders in well-being hemp. The issue of legislation around cannabidiol and in particular flowers and leaves remains the main problem today. We hope for other actions from the association.