Last week, Paris saw the opening of its first two coffee shops that sell legal cannabis. This followed the Parisian government’s softening of restrictions pertaining to the sale of cannabis products that contain very small levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
THC is the main psychoactive component of the drug. This is the ingredient of cannabis that creates a high.
The cannabis sold at the coffee shops, however, contain higher levels of cannabidiol or CBD, which have been known to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, among others.
Softening of cannabis laws in France
The opening of the cannabis coffee shops in France can be attributed to the country’s cannabis laws softening. This means that while cannabis is still illegal, the law allows cannabis products to be sold as long as they contain less than 0.2% of THC.
Moreover, the Minister for Health announced in November that the presence of CBD in certain products is authorized for public consumption.
Despite this, though, the French Health Authority (La Direction Générale de la Santé ) has declared that there are no therapeutic benefits that may be claimed by those who produce or distribute CBD-containing products.
France is said to have some of the most restrictive cannabis laws among the member-nations of the European Union. However, since French President Emmanuel Macron came into office, the country has taken several strides to lessen the negative effects of prohibition.
Where do these cannabis products come from?
The cannabis products sold at the coffee shops are imported from Switzerland. These products are clearly labeled “Do not smoke.” This, however, has not gotten through to some customers and has not stopped them from sparking up.
According to Joaquim Lousquy, the owner of one of the shops, they sell hemp products without psychotropic effect. The products they sell are not medicine or relaxants. He said that he wouldn’t advise people to smoke cannabis. They sell cannabis like any other item.
The shop owners also insist that the products they sell are solely intended to introduce new aroma or new flavor to customers’ palettes.
Stéphane Bélaiche, who owns E-Klop, said that she is not selling CBD products to be smoked in joint. Instead, she wants customers to find another flavor to enjoy.
Where are these two cannabis-selling establishments located?
One establishment is called ‘Cofyshop’ and can be found in the 11th arrondissement. The other, named ‘E-Klop,’ is situated in Puteaux in western Paris, Hauts-de-Seine.
E-Klop has been operating for five years now, but it only started selling cannabis products just last week. It sells legal CBD products for around €20-25 per gram, which products are aimed at executives, managers, and professionals.
These shops sell CBD products in different forms, inluding oil, crystals, sweet edibles, syrup, balms and topicals, vaping liquid, and ground herb or tea preparations.
You can also get cannabis flower for €11 to €14 per gram.
Not the first of its kind in France
Cofyshop and E-Klop are only the latest shops selling cannabis products to open in France. There are similar establishments that have already started operating in Annoeullin, near Lille, and in Besançon.
The two shops in Paris have attracted long queues of customers who are eager to try CBD products legally.
Some people want to try the shops’ products as they are confident that being legal means these products are of good quality. Meanwhile, some of those who are in line are buying the CBD products for loved ones who are in pain and who want to try a more natural remedy to their treat their condition.
And yet there are those who just want to try cannabis out of curiosity.