NewsEurope Must Dismiss INCB’s Efforts To Classify CBD A...

Europe Must Dismiss INCB’s Efforts To Classify CBD A Narcotic Drug, Says KanaVape Co-Founder


KanaVape co-founder Sébastien Béguerie takes issue with potentially damaging Cannabis Initiative from the International Narcotics Control Board and the influence it may have on the European Union’s position on CBD

ON reading BusinessCann’s report into the European Commission’s prevarication over the status of CBD my reaction was that this is complete nonsense.

If the EC align with the INCB’s prohibitionist position this will create some serious contradictory issues between the EC and member states’ national law, making it even harder to understand how to commercialise CBD across the continent. 

To my mind Europe’s position on CBD was set by the European Court of Justice last November when it ruled that CBD is not a narcotic drug in the case which I have been fighting for the last seven years.

European Court Made Right Decision

The prime consequence of this judgement  – in what has become known as the ‘KanaVape case’ – was that it should effectively herald a new era for the European CBD industry.

The ruling effectively permits EU businesses the authority to use all parts of the cannabis plant from the EU catalogue as long as the THC content is below 0.2% – and trade these products across member state boundaries. 

This has subsequently-led to further liberalisation measures across the European Union, such as in the Czech Republic, which recently voted to permit the legal cultivation of cannabis up to 1% THC.

This means that from 2022 business in Czechia will be able to grow, without permit, any cannabis varieties from the across world as long as its THC content is not above 1%. 

Sébastien Béguerie

In France, as a result of the ECJ ruling we have witnessed rapid change in the industry, and next year will see the implementation of new rules that will permit the production and sale of CBD derived products in food and nutraceuticals. 

Many leading French companies are set to launch their own CBD brands and products through mainstream distribution channels, such as supermarkets. 

And, one of the key outcomes of the KanaVape ruling is the permitted trade of ‘non-narcotic’ CBD across the 27 member states under the free movement of goods directives.

So, if adopted by the EC the INCB’s Cannabis Initiative will have serious adverse impacts.

The EC Will Look Ridiculous

Looking at the complexity of this scenario, I cannot see how the EC would be able to control such a fast-growing and diverse market with so many actors and different national laws. 

It would create this insane scenario of unfair competition between EU neighbours, with potentially ruinous consequences for businesses, consumers and a loss of tax revenues for governments. 

To tell you the truth, after 10 years of rapid CBD growth in the EU by users who never developed addictions, overdosed or reported harmful side effects the EC will look ridiculous, to declare all of the sudden that CBD is a narcotic and as dangerous as opium! 

This will not make any sense especially when there is a global tailwind behind cannabis liberalisation. 

To find a way out of this mess pressure must be applied to the INCB to see if it will change its approach to CBD and cannabis, and for its members to view cannabis as a beneficial plant which has already improved the lives of millions of people worldwide.


No Room For Science

The data shows that cannabis is not a gateway drug, but a ‘get-out of the way’ drug where many people suffering of addiction managing to get out of it, using cannabis products containing CBD, THC or both. 

People have reported that they are able to reduce their reliance on other more destructive medicines while using CBD, without suffering of adverse effect.

But, the sad thing is that the influence of INCB can only be diluted by political means and not by scientific fact which has already proven the safety of CBD for human consumption. 

There are two ways to dilute the influence of INCB, one is through the WHO which has already reported in 2019 that CBD is not addictive and has no side-effects.

Whilst efforts to have CBD products under 0.3% THC exempt from the single convention on Narcotic Drugs failed last year, further efforts must be pursued.

Then, the other option is for every nation in the world to determine their own futures; to draft their own cannabis laws; to declare their own exemption on cannabis consumption from the International Conventions on Narcotic Drugs.

Canada did it in 2018! Germany is close to doing so, so why not the EU, too, and all of its member states? 


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