The Food Standards Agency set a deadline of 31 March 2021 for the industry to submit valid food applications, otherwise, their products will no longer be legal to sell.
The past year has been impressive for CBD products in the UK. Amongst the CBD craze, there could have potentially been times where edible products were rushed to market before following product testing procedures set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The FSA has set a deadline of 31 March 2021 for the industry to submit valid novel food applications. The FSA only began regulating the market in January, which many would say is long overdue.
"The industry was thrown into turmoil when CBD was categorised by the European Commission last year as a novel food, meaning that the plethora of products available on the UK market cannot legally be sold until CBD has been approved through the novel food authorisation process" explained Katie Vickery, head of Food Law at Osborne Clarke LLP.
Although CBD sales have been soaring, products have not yet been approved in the UK, raising safety concerns amongst frequent users.
"The Food Standards Agency has been slow to provide clarification on whether enforcement action would be taken against those businesses that currently sell food containing CBD and CBD food supplements."
As of March 31, all CBD products that are labeled incorrectly or deemed unsafe to eat will no longer be sold in stores. Businesses should be aware that complications will arise if they fail to follow the set protocols.
This ensures that all CBD products being put on shelves meet legal standards, implementing a higher standard of safety for CBD consumers.
Advice from the FSA
The FSA released a statement from chief executive Emily Miles, "CBD products are widely available on the high street but are not properly authorized. The CBD industry must provide more information about the safety and contents of these products to the regulator before 31 March 2021, or the products will be taken off the shelves.'"
"Also today, we are advising that CBD could be risky for vulnerable groups"
The FSA is advising those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking prescription medication to not consume any form of CBD products.
Adults without any health conditions have also been advised to stick to a limit of 70mg a day- that averages to around 28 drops of CBD unless advised differently from a doctor.
CBD products are not psychoactive as they do not include any THC however, some products being sold have been tested and found to have trace amounts of THC in them. The new regulation will provide consumers with cleaner and more trustworthy range products.
"The actions that we're taking today are a pragmatic and proportionate step in balancing the protection of public health with consumer choice"
Professor Alan Boobis, Chair of the Committee on Toxicity, stated:
"My committee has reviewed the evidence on CBD food products and found evidence there are potential adverse health effects from the consumption of these products. We are particularly concerned about pregnant or breast-feeding women and people on medication."
"We don't know enough to be sure about such a risk but I am pleased with the sensible and pragmatic approach the FSA is taking" Said Alan.
The OTC assured that the committee will continue to "keep these products under review in the months ahead."
The FSA's advice will apply only to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland is managed by a separate regulator.
CBD products are not considered as medical treatment in the UK but many rely on their benefits in their day to day lives. The FSA's stand to regulate the CBD market is a great place to start improving the UK cannabis market for consumers.
The UK cannabis market could be on the verge of a multi-billion-pound boom
While the majority of cannabis sold in the UK still comes from the black market, things are rapidly beginning to change.
In fact, a 2016 UN report found that the UK accounted for approximately 45% of global cannabis production, while also being responsible for 70% of the worldwide export market.
However, the UK industry is still in its infancy, which has left investors starved for British pot stocks to add to their portfolio.
And with Prohibition Partners predicting the industry could reach $3 billion in size by 2024, this is one investment opportunity you don't want to miss.
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