France begins to soften stance on Cannabis


France has stringent policies towards cannabis use but recently, the French economy was overtaken by India, and it has dropped from sixth place. Opportunities in the cannabis industry are slowly taken into consideration in France.

Cannabis startups will be happy to know that France has begun loosening its restrictions on cannabis use. According to Statista, between 2015 and 2017, merely over 11% of the French populace acknowledge having used marijuana over the previous year, the largest among European countries.

This made the French government adopt some of the most unfair penalties for cannabis use in Europe, with victims being fined with vast sums of money and others receiving a lengthy prison sentence. Germany, Italy and other European nations have adopted measures to decriminalize cannabis while President Macron proposed partial decriminalization so that police can use their time to do other valuable activities. The move by France to decriminalize marijuana was also because of pressure from their neighbors including Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, legalized the recreational use of cannabis. The French government also fears that citizens will migrate to legal marijuana countries to buy marijuana. In 2018 new regulations concerning cannabis were adopted in France. According to this new rule, people caught with little amounts of marijuana are now given much lower fines of €150-200.

Following other European countries, France decriminalized the use of cannabis-based medicine in 2014 and last year, the French Health Association, ANSM (Agency Nationale de sécurité du médicament et des products de santé) reported the outcome to the medicinal use of cannabis, which is strongly favored as a treatment for chronic pain, epilepsy, and some forms of cancer. However, the French government does prefer ingesting marijuana instead of smoking it.

Surprisingly, most French adults don’t seem to in favor of this change in the law. Similar to other European countries, the ratio of 16 to 24-year-olds who consume alcohol is decreasing, while in France there is a decrease in cannabis use, although it does ranges. According to research conducted by ODFT (Observatoire Français des Drogues et Toxicomanies) the use of cannabis is falling among 17-year-olds (as is alcohol and cigarette consumption).

According to the results of the research, about one-third of 17-year-olds smoke ten cigarettes per day, most of them are also alcohol consumers while 10 percent of them consume cannabis at least ten times per month.

Surprisingly, the statistics based on cannabis usage separates the nation into two segments where teenagers have a high probability of using cannabis if they live in the south.

The reduction of the restrictions on cannabis has also softened the cultural and economic stance on cannabis. Many marijuana-related shops have established across the major cities in France. Research has shown that marijuana has more than 113 compounds, but the only psychoactive compound is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Most cannabis sellers offer cannabis with THC levels of 10-15%. But the French law has stated that the maximum amount of THC allowed is 0.2%. So shops have to adopt these new policies to be on the right side. Also, the shops have to permit mostly cannabis-infused teas rather than smoking.

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