PARIS (AFP) - France sought to stamp out a new electronic cigarette containing cannabis, launched Tuesday with the claim it provides all of the relaxation but none of the mind-altering effects of marijuana.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the product would "incite the consumption of cannabis" and that she intended approaching the courts to ban it.
"I am opposed to such a product being commercialised in France," she said on RTL radio.
The product was launched by a French-Czech company called Kanavape which says it hopes to offer "millions of people a legal and flavourful way to consume cannabis." Smoking e-cigarettes, or "vaping", is ultra-fashionable in France, and while people have long since figured out how to doctor them to smoke marijuana - as evidenced by hundreds of YouTube how-to's on the subject - Kanavape claims their product is 100 percent legal.
The company extracts Cannabidiol - a compound in cannabis that does not contain the mind-altering THC ingredient - from hemp, a variety of cannabis grown for fibre and seeds.
The hemp is grown on farms in France, Spain and the Czech Republic without chemicals or fertiliser, the company claims on its website.
"Kanavape provides you with a unique experience. Cannabidiol is a non-psychotic component of hemp, it does not have euphoric effects but helps you feel more relaxed," Kanavape's website claims.
Recreational use of marijuana is still strictly illegal in France, however the country now allows the drug's active ingredients to be used for medical purposes.