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Cannabis in France – Laws, Use, and History

French laws are conservative when it comes to cannabis use and possession. Unusually for an EU country, they do not yet have a medicinal cannabis programme. However, the introduction of Macron’s ‘on the spot fine’ for cannabis users indicates a gradual shift in attitude. Despite their strict laws, France remains a major producer of hemp and cannabis.

    • CBD Products
    • Legal under 0.2% THC
    • Recreational cannabis
    • Illegal
    • Medicinal cannabis
    • Legal

Cannabis laws in France

Can you possess and use cannabis in France?

French law forbids the use or possession of cannabis. It also makes no distinction between possession for personal use or for trafficking. Instead, offenders are dealt with based on the quantity of cannabis they’re caught with, and their individual circumstances.

Depending on the situation, the prosecutor may choose to close the case without punishment. They also have the right to propose alternatives to punishment, such as a treatment programme. Legal action can be taken if appropriate.

If charged with personal use of cannabis, the offender may face a fine of up to €3,750 and a prison sentence of up to one year. This may be waived for minors. If the offender is found to have endangered others while using cannabis (for example, being under the influence while working in a position of responsibility for others) the maximum sentence is increased to five years, and the fine increased to €75,000.

In 2008, a ‘rapid and graduated’ policy was introduced. This means that in straightforward cases, cannabis users may receive a caution and be required to attend a drug awareness course. If they’re not dependent on cannabis, they may have to pay up to €450.

The law changed again in 2018, when the government introduced a new policy, giving police the power to issue on-the-spot fines of €200 for those caught using cannabis. However, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb emphasised that the new policy does not decriminalise the use of the drug, and that being given a fine will not guarantee that no further legal action is taken.

Can you sell cannabis in France?

Like many other countries, France takes a more severe approach with those selling or distributing cannabis. If caught trafficking cannabis, the offender could be subject to up to ten years in prison and a €7.5million fine. These sentences could be doubled if the offender was selling to minors or selling near an educational establishment.

Can you grow cannabis in France?

Despite the fact that France has a thriving industry in hemp and cannabis production, it is still illegal for people in the country to grow cannabis plants. If caught doing so, the offender could be liable to up to 20 years in prison, or a fine of up to €7.5 million.

The law doesn’t make exceptions on this. Even if the individual only uses the cannabis grown for personal, medicinal purposes, it is still regarded as a punishable offence. However, in reality, very few cannabis cultivators have received the maximum penalty. Those who receive large prison sentences are usually those who are involved in large-scale growing activity.

Is CBD legal in France?

CBD oil doesn’t contain enough THC (the substance responsible for the ‘high’) to be psychoactive. Therefore (technically), the French government permits the use and sale of CBD products in the country. The Interministerial Mission Against Drugs and Addictive Behaviour (MILDECA) has clarified that it’s only permitted if:

  • the THC levels are 0.2% or less
  • the products are made from approved types of (low-THC) hemp plants.

Can cannabis seeds be sent to France?

Cannabis seeds can be purchased and sold in most European countries, which includes France. They can also be sent into the country via the post. However, it’s illegal to germinate the seeds, so it’s not allowed to grow plants from them.

Medicinal cannabis in France

France continues to adopt a conservative stance on medicinal cannabis, and it is not yet legal, though Sativex is available on prescription (in theory). Sativex was authorised in 2014, yet by 2018, it was still not available, due to pricing disputes between the producers and the country’s authorities.

Health Minister Agnes Buzyn openly stated her support for a medicinal cannabis programme, but as yet, no such programme has been created. However, in September 2018, the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) launched a scientific committee (CSST), evaluating the feasibility of a medicinal cannabis programme in the country. Their findings concluded that it would be “appropriate to authorise the use of therapeutic cannabis…/… in certain clinical situations and in cases where (existing) therapies provide insufficient relief or are not well tolerated.”

It’s estimated that France has somewhere between 300,000 to 1 million patients that could benefit from cannabis-based medicinal products. Due to lack of availability on prescription, the concern is that a large number of these patients are turning to the black market to get their supply.

Industrial hemp in France

France has been cultivating hemp for centuries. Until the 1800s, over 100,000 hectares of French land was used to produce it; and the harvested hemp was turned into linen, rope, natural oil and fabric.

After this time, hemp production started to decline, until it reached just 700 hectares in 1960. There are a few reasons for this. Sail boats were no longer widely used (hemp was ideal for creating sails and rigging), and synthetic fibres started dominating the market; not to mention cotton and other fibres arriving from overseas.

Since then, the industry has recovered. At the start of the 21 st century, there were around 6,000 hectares of hemp plantations; mostly in La Loire and La Sarthe. Most of the hemp was used to produce paper.

France’s hemp strains yield (on average) eight tonnes of straw per hectare. According to Prohibition Partners’ European Cannabis Report, the country is now the world leader in hemp seed production and is responsible for producing 59% of the world’s seeds. It also dominates the hemp fibre market, producing over 50% of all hemp-based pulp and paper in Europe.

Political parties and cannabis

Very few of France’s political parties are in favour of legalising cannabis, though most do acknowledge its medicinal benefits. President Emmanuel Macron has spoken out in support of limited cannabis reforms, such replacing prison sentences by on-the-spot fines. The government emphasises that this is a pragmatic approach to reduce time spent by police, and that it should not be viewed as a first step towards decriminalisation.

There are notable exceptions, though. Socialist MP Daniel Vaillant, former Minister of the Interior, proposed legalisation of cannabis in Le Parisien in 2009. Cecile Duflot (Minister of Territorial Equality) and Vincent Peillon (Minister for Education), also put forward a case for legalisation, stating that it was a better solution than continuing the ‘war on drugs’. They were called to order by the government, and their comments were regarded as ‘not subject to debate’.

Another party worthy of note is Cannabis Sans Frontières, which is led by the renowned activist Farid Ghehioueche. The party has been represented in European and legislative elections, though representatives gathered less than 1% of the votes in each instance.

Good to know

If you are travelling to France (or are a resident of the country), it is useful to know the following:

  • Despite the strict laws, cannabis is smoked widely in France. In fact, according to a recent report, the country ranked sixth in terms of number of people who smoked it.
  • 21.5% of young adults (15-34 years old) use cannabis in the country.
  • The potency of seized cannabis varies considerably. For herbal cannabis, it’s 0 to 28%, for resin (hash) it’s 0 to 70%. This is extremely potent! It’s very rare to see such a high potency, and it’s likely that this was a type of distillate.

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Cannabis history

Cannabis was widely available at the turn of the 19 th century, when French forces returned from Egypt with hashish and cannabis. As the century progressed, cannabis use became more fashionable, particularly within intellectual circles.

Many of the country’s most celebrated authors and philosophers wrote about their experience of using drugs (including cannabis). Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, Pierre Gautier and Alexandre Dumas were all members of the infamous Club des Hachischins, which was dedicated to the exploration of drug-induced states.

Cannabis didn’t become popular with the masses until the 1960s, when servicemen returned from Vietnam. Then, the drug became an important part of the hippie counterculture movement, and its popularity began to take off.

The modern cannabis trade

France does not produce hashish domestically, though it does cultivate illegal herbal cannabis.

Much of France’s hashish is trafficked into the country from Morocco. Dutch cannabis is also prevalent, though Dutch exports have declined in recent years, due the increasingly restrictive laws in the Netherlands.

France is also a transit point for drugs destined for the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium.

Paris’s coffeeshops

In 2018, two French entrepreneurs made the most of the government’s relaxing of cannabis laws (which permitted the sale of cannabis products containing 0.2% THC or less) and opened two Dutch-style ‘coffeeshops’.

Joaquim Lousquy, the owner of Cofyshop, told The Telegraph: “There’s no psychotropic effect. It isn’t a medicine or a relaxant. I wouldn’t advertise anyone to smoke cannabis. We sell it like any other item, just like a furniture shop sells tables or chairs.”

Stephane Bélaiche, who runs E-Klop (a similar establishment) said to The Telegraph: “I don’t sell CBD products so they can be smoked in a joint, but so that people can find another flavour to enjoy.

However, both shops have experienced protest from locals and the authorities alike. MP Pacome Rupin visited one of the shops and informed French reporters that he was ‘closely watching’ its activities. Also, neighbouring residents have complained about the shop. “It smells of hashish in the street,” one local commented. “It wafts up into our flat.”

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Cannabis events in France

France hosts several major cannabis events throughout the year. These include:

  • UFCM I-Care. UFCM I-Care was originally started in 2012, by Bertrand Rambaud. It’s one of the continent’s most important medicinal cannabis conferences, and gives experts from around the world the chance to share their expertise and experience.
  • Cannabis Europa Paris. Policymakers, scientists, academics and international cannabis companies attend Cannabis Europa Paris for the chance to exchange ideas and listen to key speakers in the field.
  • Cannabis Business France. This two-day event focuses on the cannabis and hemp market in France, with a view to educating entrepreneurs about the opportunities in the industry. It’s also marketed as a networking event.

Coming soon?

  • Canamour. This new cannabis event, scheduled for 2020, looks like it will offer an expo/conference experience, focusing on both the cannabis and hemp industry. No further details are known, though it seems the event will be held in Marseille.

Will it be legalised in the future?

Given France’s conservative attitude to the use of cannabis, it seems unlikely that it will be made legal any time soon. However, it is possible that a proper medicinal cannabis programme might be established in the near future – based largely on mounting public pressure.

French cannabis laws are conservative, without even a medicinal cannabis programme in place yet. Yet cannabis use is prevalent. Here’s more info!

109mm Pre-Rolled Cones – 100% Organic Hemp Paper [800 Cones per Box]

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100% Organic Hemp Rolling Paper Pre-Rolled Cones

Pre-Rolled 109mm Organic Hemp Rolling Paper Cones

The 109mm 100% organic hemp paper pre-rolled cone is perfect for 1 gram pre-rolls. This organic hemp cone works well with industry standard knockboxes. Our rolling paper is produced by the finest producer in the world. The paper mill is located in a small mountain village at the base of the Pyrennes. It is here where the cool, and pure mountain water makes the finest rolling paper. This French village has been producing rolling paper since the 1800’s, it is a craft passed on from generation to generation. They have created a paper especially for us in order to produce the perfect tasting and cleanest burning pre rolled cone. Top brands across the world trust Custom Cones USA with their pre-rolled cone needs. We pride ourselves on our unparalleled quality, fast lead times, and customer service.

Ultra-Thin French Paper

We use only the highest quality starting materials for our pre-rolled cones. The rolling paper we offer are made in France from a paper mill which has been in business for over 200 years. Custom Cones USA has partnered with this family business to create the best smoking organic hemp pre-rolled cones in the industry.

Slow & Even Burn

All our pre-rolled cones feature a straight gum-line – this extra manufacturing step means that our cones are guaranteed to burn evenly and smoothly. A straight gum line means excess paper was removed so that only the exact amount of paper needed is used. With our straight gum line your customers smoke less paper and taste more flower.

100% Organic, Food Grade, & FSC-Certified

All the rolling paper we use is made to the same standards the FDA and EU requires for paper which is in contact with food. All the rolling paper we use is FSC certified which verifies that the raw materials used were sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly. We have organic certifications on all our raw materials for our 100% organic hemp rolling paper .

The 109mm organic pre-roll hemp cones are suited for one gram of material. This size is best suited packaged in single doob tubes.

+ How many grams fit into a 109mm pre-rolled organic hemp cone?

Our 109mm organic pre-rolled hemp cone is best when filled with about 1 gram.

+ What is the lead time for 109mm pre-rolled organic hemp cones?

If the product is in-stock the lead time is 3-5 business days depending on your location. Our warehouse is based out of Tacoma, WA and we keep all unbranded pre roll cones in-stock at that location. If the product is out of stock please contact us in – in most cases, we can have the product sent to you within 2 weeks.

+ Can I split my pre-rolled cone order into various sizes and still receive the bulk discount?

Yes, you can purchase various sizes and paper types of pre-rolled cones and still get the wholesale discount. Our sale price in your cart will automatically update to reflect the accurate bulk discount.

+ Do these fit in knockboxes?

Yes, our standard hemp pre-rolled cones fit in knockboxes and work with traditional packing and filling methods. We also do custom sizes if you have your own custom knockbox or filling equipment. We sell our own knockbox, the Industrial Cone Packer 300, which is custom-made for our pre-rolled cones – this ensures a tight fit and reduces the amount of re-work to get your pre-rolls the accurate weight.

+ What are your 109mm pre-rolled organic hemp cones made from?

The 109mm pre-rolled hemp cones are made from 100% organic hemp pulp.

+ What is the difference between the brown paper and the organic hemp paper?

The difference between the paper is the material they are made out of – brown paper is made of unrefined paper pulp and the hemp paper is made out of organic hemp. Our organic hemp pre-roll cones are made from 100% organic hemp, which means the taste of the paper is complimentary with cannabis – this creates a smooth smoking experience. The appearance of the hemp pre-rolled cone is tanner than the white paper but lighter than the brown paper. When customized, this makes a slight difference on the appearance of your print on the crutch.

+ What certifications are available for the pre-rolled cones?

All of our pre-rolled cones have two certifications – a quality certification as well as a food-grade certification. Further we have an FSC-certification for the rolling paper which verifies that the raw materials used were sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly. Our pre-rolled cone manufacturing facility is ISO 9001:2015 certified and all our pre-rolled cones are traceable to the exact date and production line which produced the cones. Further on our organic hemp pre-rolled cones we have additional certifications which show that the raw materials used are organic.

+ Do you have certifications which show that the rolling paper is organic?

All the raw materials used to produce the rolling paper are certified organic, however, there is no international certification for “organic paper”. The farms we source our hemp from are certified organic and we have a traceability system in-place to ensure that all the raw materials used in the organic rolling paper are indeed organic. As rolling paper is a manufactured product it could never claim to be organic as a final product however all the raw materials used can be certified organic making the overall product organic.

+ Can I get custom branding on my 109mm pre-rolled organic hemp cones?

Of course! We can do custom branding on the 109mm pre-rolled hemp cones. There are two types of branding available – a direct print on the filter of the pre-rolled hemp cone as well as an external wrapping around the filter. Please contact us to learn more about custom branded pre-rolled cones. There are limitless options for how you can customize your pre-rolled hemp cones from custom sizes to printing on the paper. Please send a message or give us a call to learn more!

+ Can I get a custom-sized pre-rolled cone?

Yes, we can make any custom dimension pre-rolled hemp cone you need. We can do custom cone length, custom crutch length and width, custom bottom diameter and custom top diameters. We can change the GSM of the rolling paper used, the GSM of the crutch paper, the style of filter and more! Just let us know what customization you are looking for and we will make it happen!

Our 100% organic hemp 109mm pre-rolled cones are perfect for easily filling 1 gram joints. Our organic cones are food grade certified, eco-friendly paper! Also known as the king-size pre-rolled cone – our organic hemp pre-rolled cones use french rolling paper and are phase 3 compliant.