Paris opens its first two cannabis coffee shops

Cannabis shoppers flock to the
Cannabis shoppers flock to the "Cofyshop" in Paris, where a low-strength version of the drug now permitted under French law. (File image via The Telegraph)

Parisians waited in long queues to get their first legal cannabis experience after the French capital opened its first two green coffee shops.

The shops opened last week after France eased its restrictions to allow the sale of green products containing less than 0.2 per cent of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis and hemp, The Telegraph reported on Sunday. 

“There’s no psychotropic effect. It isn’t a medicine or a relaxant. I wouldn’t advise anyone to smoke cannabis,” said Joaquim Lousquy, 29, the owner of ‘Cofyshop’ in the hip 11th arrondissement. She added:

“We sell it like any other item, just like a furniture shop sells tables or chairs.”

The product is imported from Switzerland. It had a label ‘Do not smoke’ but some customers smoked it nevertheless.

Stéphane Bélaiche, owner of E-Klop, a similar shop in Puteaux, a west Paris suburb, said: “I don’t sell CBD products so they can be smoked in a joint, but so that people can find another flavour to enjoy.”

CBD is the calming, soothing component found in both cannabis and hemp.

So far, the French Health Authority said there is “no therapeutic benefit may be claimed by the makers or vendors or any product containing CBD,” despite scientific evidence proving otherwise.

The THC used, meanwhile, was derived from hemp and not marijuana. However, ‘Cofyshop’ sells its low-strength ‘CBD’ version of cannabis for £10 to £12 per gram, as well as syrup, massage oil and a preparation to make tea.

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