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Federal Court of Justice overturns acquittals for CBD



The Federal Court of Justice in Leipzig has overturned a previous decision made by the Berlin Regional Court, which acquitted five defendants of charges related to the sale of CBD products. The judgement decision could have potentially huge ramifications for Germany’s emerging CBD industry.



The defendants, who were the managing director, sales manager, and employees of the company “Bunte Blume”, had been accused of selling CBD products which contained low levels of THC in 2019. This company sold CBD with low levels of the intoxicating THC and high levels of the non-intoxicating active ingredient CBD in 2 and 5-gram portions through late-night outlets and online retailers. In January 2019, one of the accused purchased 3 kilograms of cannabis with an active ingredient content of around 5 grams of THC from Switzerland to Germany. The following day, approximately 2, 4 kilograms of cannabis plants and around 1 kilogram of a cannabis-containing preparation with a total active substance content of around 5.5 grams of THC were confiscated from the business. Furthermore, one of the defendants ordered almost 7.5 kilograms of CBD, which contained 9 grams of THC, in Luxembourg. However, customs discovered and confiscated the package in Berlin on February 19, 2019, so it did not reach the "Bunte Blume “business premises.



The Regional Court had found the defendants had not sold products that could be misused for intoxicating purposes and therefore they could not be convicted of drug offences under German law resulting in their acquittal. However, the Federal Court of Justice overturned the judgment on the grounds that the Regional Court had not sufficiently dealt with the evidence presented and had not sufficiently examined the credibility of the statements made by the defendants.



The new chamber will have to re-examine the evidence and determine the credibility of the statements made by the defendants. They will also need to consider the personal circumstances and any previous convictions of the defendants, as they may have an impact on the defendant’s knowledge of the narcotic properties of the products they were selling. Additionally, the new chamber will have to take into account the fact that the defendants advertised the products as having medicinal properties and not as narcotics. The court will have to determine if the defendants were aware of the narcotic properties of the products and if they should have known that they were subject to the Narcotics Act, despite the high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. This new decision could have significant implications for the CBD industry and for individuals and companies involved in the sale of CBD products.



The outcome of this case will likely have a major impact on the legality of CBD products in Germany and could set a precedent for other countries. The case highlights the ongoing debate over the classification of CBD and its relationship to THC, which is currently classified as a controlled substance in a number of countries, including Ireland. As the use of CBD products continues to grow in popularity, it will be crucial for the legal system to clarify the regulations surrounding these products and ensure that individuals and companies are operating within the bounds of the law. This case is not the first one to question the legality of selling CBD products, with other countries also facing similar cases, and this case may also be followed in other jurisdictions where there is a grey area in the laws regulating CBD products and as such, it could have a ripple effect on the entire industry.




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