French shops use loophole to sell ‘ultralight’ weed

Technically, the fragrant marijuana buds on offer at a new Paris boutique are not meant to be smoked, as the friendly staff and disclaimers remind clients—brewing the herb in hot water is advised, as is adding it to food.

“Smoking is bad for you,” a smiling young salesman tells a customer.

But judging by the 45-minute wait to get inside the Cofyshop near the Republique square on a recent afternoon, not to mention the smoking paraphernalia behind the counter, that certainly seems to be the goal.

France is one of Europe’s biggest users of cannabis, with an estimated 22 percent of people aged 15 to 34 partaking at least once in 2016, according to the latest data available.

A recent French poll showed 51 percent in favour of limited legalisation, reflecting a growing trend toward more relaxed rules in Europe and the United States.

Despite an easing of penalties under President Emmanuel Macron, however, government officials show no appetite for allowing recreational use.

But Joaquim Lousquy,…

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