Photo: The Local
Police raided the two “coffee shops” on Wednesday morning and took three people in for questioning. The cafes were immediately closed and it's not clear if they will reopen.
The new cannabis-selling shops in Paris, which opened in the 2nd and 11th arrondissements of the city, took advantage of a grey area in the law which has not classified the legal status of CBD (cannabidiol) products made from hemp, including toothpaste, creams, cakes and teas as well as cannabis.
The products in these shops are supposed to contain only 0.2 percent of THC which means that they have no effect on a person's mind unlike normal cannabis available illegally.
But earlier this month French prosecutors signaled they were not happy with the new businesses when they opened an official probe to “verify whether the legal conditions of sale of certain forms of cannabis are being respected”.
Even Health Minister Agnés Buzyn signalled she wasn't exactly high on the idea, saying the cafes had taken advantage of a grey area in the law.
She told France Info on Tuesday that she wanted a ban on “selling products” based on cannabis.
“We will ask them to stop selling drugs,” she said.
One of the businesses named Cofyshop, located in the trendy 11th arrondissement, was selling cannabis for between €11.50 and €13 per gram, as well as teas and massage oils has been so popular that there were queues down the street and owner Joaquim Lousquy, 29, had to hire two security guards to deal with the sheer number of customers.
In fact, the store, which opened on June 5th, was also forced to close on several occasions after running out of stock, according to reports.
Lousquy believed the “coffee shop” and the products they sold were entirely within the law.