French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

France’s Economy Minister has praised the work of Bordeaux law officers, after they seized more than 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value in excess of €19 million.

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux
Illustrative image of cannabis resin that was seized in 2021. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)

Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in a joint statement: “Once again, Customs distinguished itself with an exceptional seizure of cannabis, recalling its key role in the fight against drug trafficking. We congratulate the customs officers for their daily commitment to the protection of our fellow citizens.”

Two people were taken into custody after officers stopped a lorry from Spain on the A63, near the Saugnac-et-Muret toll area, just south of Bordeaux, on Monday.

According to Le Figaro, the drugs were hidden in side compartments of the lorry, and concealed by its stated load of wheat, and were discovered by a sniffer dog during the stop.

In total, 2,414.8kg of cannabis resin and 9.75kg of cannabis herb were intercepted by the Bordeaux brigade, with an estimated value of more than €19 million on the illicit market.

Since the end of July, 2022, Customs officials have seized nearly 73 tonnes of drugs, including 41.2 tonnes of cannabis.

The French drugs squad is now investigating to determine the point of origin of the drugs, as well as their destination and the crime network behind the smuggling attempt.

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France extends medical cannabis trial for a year

The trial of medical cannabis in France has been extended until March 2024, the government has announced.

France extends medical cannabis trial for a year

The limited trial of cannabis for therapeutic use for patients with serious diseases had been due to end this month, having been authorised in France in October 2020. But the scheme has been extended until March 24th, 2024 as part of the government’s flagship Social Security law.

Orders published in the Journal Officiel specify the terms of participation for doctors and pharmacists in the experiment, as well as conditions of prior training and remuneration, specifications of cannabis-based medicines that can be used, and the conditions of their availability as well as the therapeutic indications or clinical situations in which they will be used.

READ ALSO The long and winding road towards changing France’s cannabis laws

Under the trial rules, medical cannabis’s use is limited prescription treatment for neuropathic pain, some drug-resistant forms of epilepsy, certain stubborn oncology symptoms related to cancer or cancer treatment, palliative situations and pathologies of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis.

Recreational use of cannabis remains illegal in France, although the country has one of the highest rates of recreational cannabis use in Europe.