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article imageUnder cloud of controversy, cannabis e-cigarettes debut in UK

By Simon Crompton     Dec 22, 2014 in Health
Over protests from members of the French government and health groups, the first electronic cannabis cigarette is available in the UK.
The e-cigarette is available from the French company KanaVape. The e-cigarette company claims the legal cannaboids vaporizer offers the advantages of the original flavor without combustion and smell.
Although the e-liquid is made from organic hemp, the product is made without THC. THC is the substance that creates the high associated with marijuana smoking. The company website claims that smoking the KanaVape will not make you high, but it will relax you.
“We made KanaVape to give millions of people a legal and tasteful way of using cannabinoids. We craft our production with love, care and scientific research. KanaVape is good for our customers and good for the planet,” claim Antonin Cohen and Sebastian Beguerie, KanaVape’s founders, in a statement.
France opposes the sale of the e-cigarette with the health minister, Marisol Touraine, saying that the product would increase the consumption of cannabis. She intends to get the courts to ban the product.
“I am opposed to such a product being commercialized in France,” she said in an interview.
According to the Independent, a spokesperson for the Home Office said the KanaVape would have to be tested for illegal substances prior to it being sold in the UK.
“Cannabis is classed as an illegal drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971,” the spokesperson added. “It is an offence to supply and possess a controlled drug and to supply any article believing it to be used for their administration.”
Even though there has been a softening of the stance on marijuana legality worldwide, France maintains laws against any medical or recreational use of marijuana with the exception of Sativex. The Ministry of Health controls the prescription for Sativex which is used for the treatment of muscle spasms that occur with multiple sclerosis.
French law carries heavy penalties for anyone cultivating cannabis including up to 30 years in prison and a fine of €7.5 million (US $9.3 million).
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