While German patient numbers continue to steadily if slowly rise, the UK begins to set out its unique stance on CBD and other European countries make similar kinds of (more) canna friendly announcements, one country in Western Europe still stands out for its decided lack of reform.
Despite all sorts of promises, and from the highest political office in the land no less (namely the current if unpopular President Emmanuel Macron) reform even of the medical kind has not significantly budged in France.
With no established clubs or coffee houses, even in the grey areas of the law (see Spain and Holland), an insurer mandate to cover patients (Germany) or even exploratory market tests scheduled (Denmark, Holland, Switzerland), the country indeed is the laggard not only in Western Europe, but Europe generally.
The question, really is why?
One thing is for sure. It is not a question of better cheese or wine much less a snotty attitude about pronunciation. The French government is moving like snails (and not the delicious variety with butter and garlic) when it comes to reform.
A Political Response
But all is not lost in the land of Asterix. In late September, three French mayors, Gil Avérous (Châteauroux), Boris Ravignon (Charleville-Mézières) and Arnaud Robinet (Reims), have begun to speak out as a group – and for recreational reform.
Their main concerns? That 1.5 million regular users will continue to have to buy from the black market. And of course that the black market encourages criminality and money laundering – to the tune of at least 1.2 billion euros a year.
It may not sound like much of a response, even though they are also challenging other politicians and at all levels to join this campaign.
But it is a good sign.
A Brief History of Cannabis In The Land of “Vive La Revolution!”
Perhaps it seems strange to foreigners that the home of democratic revolutions, as well as infamous lines from the last nobility to party on – as in “Let them eat cake,” would be slow adapt to the canna revolution. However, slow it certainly has been.
As of 2013, France changed the law (in place since 1953) to allow limited medical use. And as of September 1, 2020, the penalty for being found with cannabis as a user was reduced to a 200 euro fine with no police custody.
For the best regulatory guidance on the changing markets in Europe, be sure to return to the International Cannabis Business Conference next year!