Irish Court Prosecutions To Resume As Europe Flip-Flops on CBD Status

Europe’s indecisiveness regarding the status of CBD is allowing the Irish government to arbitrarily go after the country’s CBD and hemp industry, reports have suggested.

In the coming weeks, a new wave of prosecutions of CBD and hemp consumers and businesses is expected to start in the Irish justice system after the European Commission refused to take action on the Irish authorities.

Report from BusinessCann

According to a recent report from BusinessCann, the Irish CBD sector was expecting the European Commission to sanction the Irish government.

This was after a High Court ruling issued last month that hemp products that contain trace quantities of THC are effectively narcotics that are banned by under the 2020 European Court of Justice KanaVape ruling.

‘A Wave of Criminal Trials to Start’

However, after consulting BusinessCann, it has now emerged that there will be no strict penalties as the EC is also yet to make a concrete decision regarding the status of CBD.

A statement from the European Commission states, ‘it is the responsibility of the Irish government to implement the Court judgement’.

However, the Hemp Federation of Ireland (HFI) stays that the European Commission must do its job to protect the Irish businesses and consumers are Irish authorities prepare to go ahead with further penal hearings and charges.

The HFI has come to learn that after last month’s High Court decision, the Irish police have decided to resume crackdowns on CBD consumers and businesses. A consumer who was already charged for buying CBD products is set to go to trial in the coming weeks.

Executive Director of HFI, Chris Allen, noted: “Because of this court decision, the Irish government has decided to proceed with criminal prosecution of people found in violation of existing laws, meaning a wave of new trials is set to begin in the courts in coming days.”

He goes on to say: “These include the prosecution of persons accused of being in possession or purchasing EU consumer products that are widely available in stores throughout Europe.”

“As per the recent High court ruling, hemp-related ‘crimes’ are punishable by harsh penalties, including ‘life imprisonment’.”

‘More CBD Safety Data Needed’

In additional details regarding its position, the European Commission informed BusinessCann that the KanaVape ruling is not as comprehensive as it should be because it is yet to deal with the matter of safety of CBD products.

It says: “We reiterate that this court ruling does not allow the marketing of CBD products, and where relevant, EU food regulations should apply.”

“We also want to point out that according to the novel food law, CBD is not permitted – EFSA has been requested for a comment, but the consensus is pending until there is more informational available on the subject.”

“The legislation on Novel Foods permits for new products to be introduced into the EU market only after they have the safety requirements imposed by the EFSA.”

CBD: A Narcotic?

While it’s a fact that the European Commission has not yet come to a decision on the status of CBD – refer to paragraph below – Ms Allen noted that the decision by the Irish court is based on the health claims by the Irish Minister of Health that CBD products with trace quantities of THC are harmful narcotics.

And, while EU regulation provides individual countries with some autonomy regarding the regulation of consumer products, health-based interventions must be informed by science and should not be done arbitrary.

Paragraph 88 KanaVape court ruling: “A decision to ban promotion can be implemented only if the risk related to public health is satisfactorily argued on the basis of the most recent scientific research available at the date of the issuing of the said decision.”

Ms Allen also noted that despite multiple requests, the Irish government is yet to provide the necessary data.

She explained: “The problem is not the advertising of CBD products, but the fact that the Irish justice system decide that the EU food regulations and KanaVape court decision do not apply to CBD products that have trace amounts of THC.”

‘Irrelevant To Ireland’

Ireland’s view of CBD has for many years been that it is a dangerous narcotic and this can be seen in the Misuse of Drugs Law of 1977 which it says is derived from the UN Convention on Psychotropic Drugs of 1971.

Ireland also does not agree with the principle of freedom of movement for such goods, and is therefore is complete disagreement with the KanaVape court ruling by the ECJ.