The EU’s Highest Court Declares CBD Is Not A Narcotic Drug
In a landmark interpretation of the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 (the Single Convention), the court of five judges held that CBD derived from the entire hemp plant is not a narcotic. Hempshire Group, Inc., the largest hemp smoke manufacturer in North America, which announced in September of its new EU distribution agreement, is poised to solidify its footprint across Europe the distribution of their brand, MOUNTAIN Smokes (organic CBD Hemp smokes).
“Launching in Europe makes Hempshire Group the first hemp smokes brand to go international. We will now have the largest consumer reach of anyone within the hemp smokes category. This category is seeing explosive growth and we are thrilled to be the first to offer worldwide distribution featuring our popular US brand, MOUNTAIN Smokes.” Said Dan Iannotte, Hempshire Group’s founder.
Just 2 years ago, CJEU was asked by the Court of Appeals of Aix-en-Provence to determine if prohibition on the marketing of CBD derived from the whole hemp plant was in violation of EU law. The focus of the case was around the prosecution of a CBD company that marketed vaping products containing CBD oil extracted from hemp (illegal in France – only hemp fiber and seeds can be used commercially). The CBD used in the marketed products was extracted from hemp lawfully cultivated and processed under Czech law.
The CJEU acknowledged that “a literal interpretation of the provisions of the Single Convention might lead to the conclusion that […] CBD […] extracted from a plant of the Cannabis genus […] constitutes a cannabis extract [….],” however, the court highlighted that:
[S]ince CBD does not contain a psychoactive ingredient in the current state of scientific knowledge … it would be contrary to the purpose and general spirit of the Single Convention to include it under the definition of “drugs” within the meaning of that convention as a cannabis extract.
The ruling (named a “preliminary ruling” because the court was asked to interpret the law of an EU member state), the CJEU finally clarified the vague international legal status of lawfully produced CBD by declaring that cannabinoid is not a drug under the Single Convention, and consequently, under EU law, which clearly refers to the Single Convention.
EU member states are now precluded from banning the marketing of lawful produced CBD products because they fall squarely within the EU’s free movement of goods provisions, and as such, should be traded without restrictions between EU member states.
This CJEU landmark ruling is significant because it is binding on all EU member states. Any EU governments that are cracking down on the sale and marketing of CBD products will now be required to amend their laws and regulations. The ruling should harmonize the fragmented CBD laws and regulation of EU member states.
Shortly after the ruling EU member states stated the need to promptly regulate the manufacture, sale, and marketing of CBD products in the EU.
The Commission, which has yet to take a final stance on whether CBD derived from hemp flower should be treated as a narcotic in the context of novel food applications, should also be subject to the same ruling. You may recall from my last post that the Commission’s preliminary consideration for treating CBD as a narcotic drug was based on a literal reading of the Single Convention. This ruling is a massive step forward on the creation of a more competitive European CBD market, one that may even facilitate the breaking of international trade barriers, further facilitating the distribution of MOUNTAIN smokes.
“MOUNTAIN Smokes products were developed by a team of industry experts with decades of experience in the hemp and Cannabis industries. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has shown to help consumers in the areas of nicotine withdrawal, anti-inflammation, pain relaxation, anxiety relaxation, stress, joint and muscle pain, and headache relaxation – just to name a few.” Iannotte continued, “This expanded product line-up will help improve the lives of many people that are searching for an alternative to traditional cigarettes, and to potentially quit smoking tobacco altogether.”
“MOUNTAIN Smokes may look like a cigarette, but they are NOT a cigarette,” added Patrick Glausser, Chief Executive Officer for Montagnaria Group AG. “They are an all-natural, organically grown, hemp-derived, Full Spectrum CBD, smokeable product that contains NO tobacco and NO nicotine. It provides people with a non-addictive alternative to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vapes. All of our products are lab tested and come with a quality assurance guarantee.”
“MOUNTAIN Smokes premium smokes are a natural product extension in the already booming CBD category. In fact, smoking CBD has become the most popular method of CBD consumption when compared with CBD tinctures, oils, gummies, honey, etc.,” continued Glausser.
“We are seeing huge demand for hemp smokes from consumers, distributors and retailers all across Europe,” added Macsen Apollo, Vice President of Sales for Montagnaria Group AG. “We have over 20 years of experience selling Cannabis products throughout Europe, and these MOUNTAIN Smokes products are the best quality, best tasting hemp smokes out there.”
The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of all MOUNTAIN Smokes products is less than the legal limit of 0.3% here in the USA, and the European legal limit of 0.2%.
About Hempshire Group, Inc.
Hempshire Group, Inc., is the largest manufacturer of hemp smokes in North America specializing in sourcing, manufacturing, packing, white-labeling, and world-class branding of category defining products. MOUNTAIN Smokes are available online at www.MountainSmokes.com, and at various retails stores worldwide. For ordering or distribution information please visit: www.MountainSmokes.com or www.HempshireGroup.com