The FSA has set a deadline for the CBD industry to apply for Novel Food approval, warning that failure to do so will result in products being ‘taken off the shelves’.
The UK’s food safety watchdog has elected to clarify the responsibilities of businesses producing ingestible CBD products. All ingestible CBD products that are to be sold in the UK must submit a valid novel food authorisation by 31 March 2021. Only products that have commenced the application process will be allowed to remain on the market past this date.What does this mean for existing regulatory uncertainty?
The long-awaited decision brings to an end a period of regulatory uncertainty for the CBD industry and it charts a path to compliance for the industry. Throughout the European Union CBD falls under the Novel Food regulation, meaning that it requires pre-market authorisation.
Some industry bodies and CBD manufacturers question this. They argue that the process of extraction and whether it was used prior to 1997 when the Novel Food regulation came into force, determine whether the ingredient should indeed be defined as a Novel Food. The Novel Food Catalogue is not legally binding to each EU member state, so every country can take an alternative position on the matter.
The FSA advised pregnant and nursing women “not to consume CBD products”. The FSA also recommended that consumers do not exceed a daily dosage of 70 milligrams, or about 28 drops of 5% CBD oil.
Is this positive for the future of the CBD industry?
This legislation is the beginning of a properly regulated market. It means that consumers know precisely what they are purchasing and the content of what they are ingesting. Suppliers and consumer facing brands will be held accountable for the quality of their products and the ingredients they use.
A properly regulated market means that the public and the medical profession will have a far greater respect for the industry allowing companies to build effective infrastructures and drive the industry forward. It also lays the foundations for recreational legalisation of Cannabis.