The first two coffee shops serving high-CBD cannabis products in Paris, France opened last week, according to a Telegraph report. The openings follow a softening of French drug laws to allow the sale of cannabis containing less than 0.2% THC, and Parisians lined up outside the businesses to make their purchases.
Controversially (considering scientific support for the cannabinoid), the French Health Authority has ruled that no therapeutic benefit may be claimed by the makers or vendors of any product containing CBD.
The shops are selling cannabis imported from Switzerland that is clearly labeled “Do not smoke,” though the label hasn’t stopped some people from sparking up. The shops’ owners insist that the products are solely meant to introduce a new flavor or aroma to customers’ palettes and not to get customers high. Cannabis flower costs between 11 and 14 euros per gram, and CBD-infused syrup, massage oils, and tea preparations are also available.
Joaquim Lousquy — owner of Cofyshop, one of the two cafes — said he started thinking about opening a shop once he heard that restrictions on cannabis were being eased.
“There’s no psychotropic effect. It isn’t a medicine or a relaxant. I wouldn’t advise anyone to smoke cannabis. We sell it like any other item, just like a furniture shop sells tables or chairs.” — Joaquim Lousquy, to the Telegraph
Stéphane Bélaiche — owner of the other shop, E-Klop — was clear about her purpose for selling cannabis.
“I don’t sell CBD products so they can be smoked in a joint, but so that people can find another flavor to enjoy.” — Stéphane Bélaiche, to the Telegraph
France has some of the most restrictive cannabis laws in the European Union but, since the election of President Emmanuel Macron, has taken several strides to reduce the negative effects of prohibition.