This work environment, he has not always known?: Jean-Marie Moëllo, 36, drove trucks for seven years, before starting a professional retraining in parallel with his construction sites. The bitumen, “it does not smell the same”, smiles the thirty-something.
It was when he came across a Facebook post in 2018 that he thought of changing his profession. After an obstacle course, convincing a bank or understanding the legislation in force, Mr. Moëllo joined the small but growing club of CBD neo-cultivators.
“This market attracts so many people that you have to be there as soon as possible”, he remarks in the middle of his plants.
“My goal is to harvest 50 kilos of flowers in October, so to earn 50,000 euros,” explains the new farmer, based in Brittany in western France.
According to the hemp union, the number of growers has grown from just 50 in 2018 to around 600 today. And among them, “30 to 40% are neo-farmers”, explains Aurélien Delecroix, the president of the union. “There are still a lot of cannabis enthusiasts in France, we’re not going to hide it?: being able to cultivate cannabis legally has aroused a lot of vocations”, continues Mr. Delecroix.
Because it is the same plant: hemp. The main difference between recreational cannabis and CBD, hemp called “wellness” or “cannabis light”, is the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the molecule with psychoactive effects. The threshold not to be exceeded in France is 0.3% THC.
“The regulatory and legal aspect has slowed the development of the number of producers. It must be understood that until November 2020, producers incurred a penalty for drug trafficking”, explains Aurélien Delecroix.
– “CBD has a bright future ahead of it” –
The tipping point, according to him, is the “Kanavape affair”, an electronic cigarette with an oil containing CBD, which had earned a suspended prison sentence for its creators.
The case goes all the way to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which delivers its judgment in November 2020?: CBD cannot be considered a narcotic, having “no psychotropic effect or harmful effect on human health”.
France, forced to respect the principle of the free movement of goods and services, cannot therefore prohibit its marketing.
“The Kanavape affair remotivated us and gave us hope”, explains Jean-Marie Moëllo who nevertheless deplores “the gray areas” concerning the CBD legislation. In December, the sale of flowers was banned by the government before being reauthorized by the Council of State.
“It’s difficult to project yourself,” denounces the neo-farmer. “I do as it comes, but if one day the legislation becomes too restrictive, I will get back into the heavyweights, so I am rather our stress”, he continues.
“For the moment, I am within my rights and it makes me happy to do good to people”, says Mr. Moëllo, who cites among his clients a man who no longer has an ophthalmic migraine since he consumes his CBD or a woman who suffers less from her osteoarthritis. “I’m not a doctor, but does it do the job?!”, he proclaims proudly.
If he remains cautious while waiting to see how the legislation evolves, Jean-Marie Moëllo is hopeful: “When we see the current economic situation, when we see the number of ailments from which people suffer, I tell myself that CBD has good days ahead of him.”