Coffee shop regulations in France

The name "coffee shop" for the neophytes must remind a place where it is possible to order and drink coffee with various consumables. It is not necessary, but it is not all. The coffee shop is also in reality, a place of trade that offers various products containing cannabinoids. These are molecules coming from cannabis or hemp. Although the latter is not authorized for sale, some of its derivatives are. They are then available in these particular stores. But what does the law say about them? Here is some information to know.

Has the sale of cannabis become legal?

Contrary to popular belief, the opening of numerous coffee shops in France does not mean that the sale of cannabis has become legal on its territory. According to the Penal Code, the illegal transfer, acquisition, possession or offer and use of narcotics is still prohibited and the infringement of the rule is punishable by a few months to several years of imprisonment with a fine payment (article 222-37). It is still possible to see in article R.5136-92 of the Health Public that hemp (plant or resin and all products containing it) are prohibited from production, manufacture, transport, import, export, possession, offering, transfer and acquisition or use.

There is, however, an exemption that you should be aware of. All cannabis species containing less than 0.2% of THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be used for industrial or commercial purposes. This indicates that the psychotropic effect of the product is less or non-existent. Sellers then start from this base and offer products containing mainly cannabidiol or CBD that is authorized for exploitation and sale and that are not derived from plants with an illegal THC content.

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The administrative steps to be taken

As with any type of business, opening a coffee shop in France requires the completion of various steps. It is especially necessary to have a good legal competence before proceeding and if it is not the case, it is necessary to hire a professional in the field of law.

The cash contribution must then be deposited with a financial institution so that it can issue a certificate of deposit of funds. This document will be used for the registration of the company but also for the release of the funds, with the help of the Kbis extract, once the store is created.

The owner will not be able to obtain a certificate unless he proceeds to the publication of a notice of creation with a newspaper of legal announcements. This document will serve as a supporting document for the file at the competent Registry. Once the file is complete, it can be given to the clerk's office of the place where the premises are located.

All of these steps must be done properly in order to remain legal. If any of these steps are missed, the store could be considered illegal and risk permanent closure with various sanctions.

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