Owners of a German hemp shop are facing prison time for selling hemp flower ‘tea’.
According to the public prosecutor’s office, the sale of hemp flower is illegal regardless of how much THC it contains.
Marcel Kaine and Bardia Hatefi, who run Hanfbar, are facing prison sentences of up to three years, according to the local press.
The pair are seeking an acquittal, however, based on the fact that hemp tea is widely sold throughout the country.
Offering a wide range of CBD-contaning products and an on-site vegan cafe, Hanfbar has been in business since 2017. It touts hemp as “the key to a sustainable and conscious lifestyle.”
According to Hemp Industry Daily, prosecutors say the hemp tea is banned under the German Narcotics Law.
This latest legal case comes after a court confirmed that German authorities consider CBD products either a prescription medicine or novel food.
Therefore, selling CBD products with no THC content could land retailers in trouble if they have not received novel food authorisation.
That’s not why Hanfbar are in trouble, however, The case is down to prosecutors saying the teas could be used for ‘intoxicating purposes.’
The trial saw two experts testify that even small amounts of THC can cause intoxication, also stating that the tea could be processed into edibles.
Apparently, the shop had been raided by police several times and the owners had failed to take on board the authority demands to stop selling hemp flower tea.
It’s also suggested that Hanfbar “deceived” its customers about the l;egality of hemp flower teas, according to the prosecutor.
In defence, Kaine’s attorney asked: “Why are the big players in the industry not being investigated and treated with the same logic? How does that fit together?”
The trial continues on January 28, when a ruling will be issued by a regional court.