Over the last couple of years, the popularity of the Cannabis derivative, CBD, has grown to create a market that has dwarfed other health supplements. However, the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) reminds retailers and consumers that the future of the young and booming industry is far from certain.
The CTA has announced the launch of its “systematic campaign of political and media engagement” in an attempt to guarantee the continuation of the new industry. The trade body will attempt to keep pressure on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) not to enforce the EU’s Novel Food ruling.
In January 2019, the European Commission declared that cannabidiol (CBD) was considered a Novel Food. This refers to a product used in foods, that was not consumed to a significant extent before the 15th May 1997 – when the first Novel Food regulations were introduced.
The Chairman of the CTA, Mike Harlington, commented:
“It is clear that the FSA do believe that CBD products meet their definition of ‘Novel Foods’. We disagree with them and will continue to challenge their position.”
The largest markets for CBD are currently edibles and beverages, though topicals and extracts are also popular. The Novel Foods ruling could, in theory, result in thousands of CBD products completely vanishing from shelves.
This has happened in other European countries, where the ruling has been enforced. However, medical products, cosmetics, and vaping products are excluded from the ‘Novel Foods’ ruling.
A recent letter from the FSA revealed that there are no current plans to take such action in the UK. Nevertheless, it was recounted that the FSA “has the right to change this stance if new evidence is produced that concludes CBD is not safe, or for any other relevant reason.”
The Cannabis Trades Association hopes that its continued campaigning and communication with the relevant bodies will help to guarantee the future of the CBD industry in the UK.