France’s Constitutional Council earlier this month determined that CBD is neither an addictive drug nor has harmful health effects, RFI reports. The decision effectively overturns a government decree from December which banned the possession, use, and sales “of [CBD] flowers or fibers in all their forms on their own or mixed with other products.”

The ruling follows a similar decision in 2020 by the European Court of Justice which determined that the French ban on CBD was unfounded since the cannabinoid has no psychotropic or mood-altering effects and no negative impact on health, according to an RFI report. That ruling allowed CBD products to be sold throughout the European Union.

In France, CBD is estimated to have a potential market value of around 700 million euros, the report says.

Separately, French lawmakers last week discussed a cannabis legalization bill proposed by the hard-left France Unbowed Party (LFI) but the measure is not expected to find broad government support, the report says. LFI proposed a similar bill in 2014 but it was rejected.

A June 2021 Ifop survey found 51% of French citizens support cannabis legalization the highest number since 1970, according to RFI.

Last year, Malta became the first E.U. nation to legalize cannabis, while Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg are expected to enact their own reforms this year. Italy is expected to hold a national referendum on legalization.

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