The Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) decision in the Kanavape case will have a tremendous impact on the CBD industry in the European Union (EU). However, the breadth of its impact is not yet fully realised.
A number of things must happen beforehand and it may come down to further court rulings before a baseline level of requirements and limitations is decided.
Spectrum and flower products are the two biggest areas where companies are interested in seeing if some further clarification could be generated by the Kanavape decision.
Any restrictions by a member state on broad and full spectrum products would likely require a showing that the other cannabinoids at the levels present in the product have a psychotropic effect and present a health risk that CBD isolate does not. Given the safety of most cannabinoids has been established, it would look likely at this point that spectrum products could benefit from the ruling. However CBD-Intel is aware of regulatory bodies that are already assessing the Kanavape impact on a narrow basis.
Hemp flower presents unique considerations and whether its sale can be banned by member states would depend on the grounds for restricting it and whether the member state could present enough evidence that it poses a risk to public health or public policy.
It will be up to member states to interpret the ruling and adjust their regulations accordingly if necessary. And it is almost inevitable that at least one member state will interpret the ruling narrowly. Courts will then have to determine the baseline requirements and the limitations of the ruling.
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