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French market booming in response to demand, despite perils with the law

A lucrative market is emerging in France, where cannabidiol (CBD) based products are invading the shelves of tobacconists and well-being shops. Meanwhile, specialist CBD shops are springing up all over the country and online, with queues appearing in front of some shops in Paris.

The volume of sales has been twice what was forecast, according to some in the business, such as Rouen shopkeeper Mohamed El Ouarachi.

But all this activity has not gone down well with the French authorities as there is currently no specific regulation governing the sale of CBD.

And while CBD shops keep opening, they are also closing. Although more than 100 new stores opened in July 2018 alone, according to Béchir Bouderbala, advocacy officer for NORML France, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, about a third of the CBD shops in the country are embroiled in legal proceedings and six have been forced by the authorities to close down in the last few months.

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