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A group in the Senate says French cannabis could reach 2.5 billion euros

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French cannabis could bring in 1.5 to 2.5 billion euros in annual turnover and create 18,000 to 20,000 jobs, said a group in the French Senate after the recent approval of a resolution aimed at shaping the industry.

The rule-making process is expected to advance early next year as a result of the decision, by which the government declares cannabis compatible with the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy, lays out a strategy for the industry, and establishes specific regulations for the CBD sector.

“untapped”

“The (cannabis) industrial niches are large but largely untapped,” said Guillaume Gontard, chair of the Senate’s environmental group.

French farmers cultivated hemp primarily to grow seeds, and fiber to produce building materials and paper, all sub-sectors in which the French are European leaders. While the country is the third-largest cannabis grower in the world and the largest in the European Union, current fields are no more than 22,000 hectares (54,000 acres), Gunthard noted.

In addition to supporting the overall cannabis sector, the decision also calls on the government to establish regulations for products that specifically contain CBD, bringing the potential €300m legal CBD market a step closer in France.

Coming soon: CBD Rules

The first summary judgment on the decision should be issued at the beginning of the year, and the State Council will then issue a final opinion on the CBD framework in a few weeks.

While getting a file Proposed CBD rules It would be a major advance. France’s plan is not expected to be approved by the European Commission until the end of 2024 at the earliest, according to Ludovic Rachaux, head of UIVEC, the extracts trade group.

In the meantime, authorities will need to set the THC level for foods containing CBD, which was not included in an original decree in December 2021. That decree set the level of THC in extracts, but failed to set a THC standard for foods containing the compound.

temporary framework

Ratcho said his group is negotiating with authorities on an interim framework for marketing CBD as a food ingredient that would serve as “control doctrine” for 2023.

The French CBD gray market was about 200 million euros in 2021 and is expected to reach nearly 300 million euros this year, according to UIVEC estimates. UIVEC said the growth was boosted by major retailers, especially beverage distributors. Previous estimates had pegged the CBD market potential in France as much 700 million euros to me 1 billion euros.

UIVEC estimated that approximately 300 to 500 hectares of hemp, mainly on small plots, were grown for CBD-producing flowers in 2022. Producers say regulatory uncertainty was a factor in their inability to sell their output. But Ratcho said the massive price pressure due to the worldwide abundance of hemp biomass for CBD underlies French flower growers’ struggles, with producers in particular under pressure from US imports of CBD isolates “three to four times cheaper.”

1% THC

While France has been slow to take up CBD, ironically, French case prompted by the European Commission they change that it evaluation From the CBD to declaring that the compound is not a drug, and that CBD products should have the same free movement of goods between and between EU countries as other legal products, CBD can be classified as a food.

Like France, all member states are now adjusting their national rules to comply with EU-wide changes.

The Senate environmental group has also proposed developing an organic farming and quality label for French CBD products within the framework of AFNOR, an association that directs standards development. Gontard also said the Senate group supports expanding the French catalog of cannabis varieties to include cultivars that express up to 1.0% THC “in the field,” following a trend of growing worldwide that makes CBD production more efficient.

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