“Do you know CBD?”: In Bordeaux, cannabidiol professionals mobilize to protect their industry

The CBD Professionals Union, chaired by Charles Morel, a lawyer in Paris (here in the photo), denounces a draft decree aimed at banning the sale of hemp flowers and wishes to alert citizens to the risks of the sector’s disappearance .

The stand in green and white tones is installed near the Blue Lion, Place Stalingrad, in Bordeaux (Gironde), this Saturday 20 November 2021. Members of the CBD Professional Union challenge passersby and distribute bags with information brochures and small candies. But they are mainly to sensitize opinion about the advantages of cannabidiol and to alert about the draft decree that aims to ban the sale of hemp flowers, which threatens much of its activity.

An association to defend the sector

The Union of CBD Professionals, a non-profit association, was created last June. “The actors of the sector, and in particular the specialized stores, considered it necessary to have a professional guild focused on the CBD”, explains Charles Morel, president of the association and lawyer in Paris. “The CBD is a real sector with economic interests and a specific agenda. Nationwide, there are about 1,700 stores if you count the tobacconists that sell it. In Bordeaux alone, there are about thirty! “

A flourishing sector, therefore, but threatened by the draft decree presented by the government to the European Commission last July, which provides for the prohibition of the sale of dried flowers and hemp leaves, the plant from which it comes. CBD, which represents 70% of the turnover of specialized stores. A threat considered “existential” by professionals who strive to defend their professions.

“He’s making a total ban”

Among the reasons given: the difficulty for the police to differentiate between recreational cannabis and CBD (with a THC content of 0.2%), especially during controls. A false pretext for the president of the association.

Today there are saliva tests that can quickly differentiate recreational cannabis from CBD. They are used in particular in Switzerland and Spain. There, it is a question of a political will, even electoralist: the government simply wants to extend the existing prohibition to a product that, however, is not narcotic, without psychoactive effects. You are doing a total ban, in a context of security speech!

Charles Morel, president of the Union of CBD Professionals and lawyer

In November 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union had already declared the ban on CBD illegal in France. “The Kanavape ruling established that the ban on the sale of CBD in France was an attack on the free movement of goods. It was also at this time that the number of businesses skyrocketed ”, adds the lawyer. A brief moment of respite for the profession that, therefore, is once again threatened.

Changing the perspective of CBD

If the European Commission “asked France to review its copy”, as the lawyer put it, the battle is far from won for professionals in the sector. This is where pedagogy comes into play, especially with the population. “Many French people still confuse recreational cannabis and CBD, or even ignore their existence. We are here to break prejudices: it is a legal product, acclaimed by all generations and social circles ”, emphasizes Charles Morel.

Among the few curious who stop at the stand, the young… and the less young. Like this elderly couple, who “know about CBD” but “have never tried it.”

Cyril González, a member of the association, is present this afternoon to participate in the educational action. She works at Brin d’Herbe, a specialist shop in Reims: “In my clientele, I really have all kinds of profiles. Many come to buy oils or flowers for problems of insomnia, anxiety or various pain. I have a person with multiple sclerosis, for example, that CBD helps a lot, ”he says.

It is a new and transparent sector that brings together a whole generation of entrepreneurs and farmers. In France, hemp cultivation is unfortunately limited to the industrial sector, while the food aspect could be developed, but also a wide range of products with cannabidiol. Short circuits, organic farming: that is coming to us. However, the government resists. This is a total paradox, especially since the vast majority of products sold in specialized stores are imported. We are falling behind on many levels …

Charles Morel, president of the Union of CBD Professionals and lawyer

The final decree should be published in late 2021 / early 2022. By then, the CBD Professionals Union intends to step up actions and continue its fight.

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