CBD Was Just Labelled A Narcotic in Italy

As the CBD-derived medicine Epidiolex begins to enter the Italian market, the cannabinoid compound has been deemed a narcotic in Italy.

According to a report HempToday earlier in the week, Italy has placed CBD onto the country's list of medicines.

While this may sound like a positive development, it also has ramifications for retailers who seek to sell the cannabinoid compound, with the Customs and Monopoly Agency informing retailers"not to hold and sell … inflorescences (flowers), oils, resins or other products containing substances derived from hemp sativa," HempToday reported.

The HempToday report goes on to cite Better Retailing, who argue that roughly 50% of CBD brands in Europe could disappear due to the new laws surrounding the compound.

"From 31 March 2021, CBD food, drink, oil and supplement brands must be able to prove that products released to [the EU] market before 13 February 2021 have a validated novel foods application to be legally allowed to sold in stores. It applies only to ingested goods, meaning CBD vaping lines are exempt," stated Better Retailing.

The ban on retail CBD echoes similar moves made by New York last year, who banned CBD edibles due to companies making exaggerated claims about the benefits of their products. At the time, the FDA issued this statement:

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised that it is unlawful to add cannabidiol (CBD) to food or drink. We have been informing businesses in New York City that may sell food and drink about this regulation to help them achieve compliance."

Now, in Italy, it has been revealed that the European Commission is considering treating CBD as a narcotic, allegedly due to a reference made by the United Nations in 1961 which stated that cannabis extracts, from either marijuana or hemp plants, should be classed as such.

HempToday went on to say that "it remains to be seen what will happen in Italy with smokable hemp, which is based on hemp flowers and therefore not extracted, under the Customs and Monopoly Agency's stop-sell order."

Contrastingly, here in Australia, CBD was recently down-scheduled to be made available over-the-counter in Australian pharmacies, however, it remains illegal for retail sale.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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