By Emily Ledger
The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) has partnered up with a leading life-sciences regulatory consultancy service, Global Regulatory Services (GRS). The partnership will aim to supply guidance and official regulation on the growing CBD industry.
The need for regulation on CBD products in the UK has been highlighted by the CMC’s report “CBD in the UK”.
There have been meetings between senior officials in government departments and regulatory agencies. These meetings emphasised the need for CBD products to meet Novel Food guidelines, in order to be legal.
The Novel Food Act refers to food products that were not significantly consumed in the EU before 15 May 1997. In January 2019, it was clarified that no evidence of significant CBD consumption, in Europe, had been found.
The GRS has noteworthy experience in dealing with novel food regulation, having worked in the area since they began operations 12 years ago. They also have an in-depth understanding of Cannabis products and the science behind CBD.
Despite some European countries blocking the sale of CBD products following the clarification, others have taken a hands-off approach. The latter instance is the case in the UK, where the industry has had no official regulatory limitations. As a result, unregulated products have been allowed on to the market. The two bodies now hope to achieve realistic guidelines for producers in the UK.
Steve Moore, CMC founder, and director said:
“Our goal is to provide the leadership required to work alongside policy-makers, regulators, producers and retailers to achieve the shared goal of an innovative, responsible, high quality and legally compliant sector. Our partnership with GRS will be instrumental in achieving this.”
Greer Deal, Director of GRS, said:
“It’s time that those operating within this sector wake up to this reality and embark on the journey to becoming serious and sustainable participants. This is the opportunity for the cannabis industry to shine in Europe.”
The two agencies have set out a seven-stage regulatory framework:
Legal Framework – Will involve working to achieve Novel Food certification, as well as meeting the regulatory requirements for the relevant sectors. e.g. food supplements, cosmetics, and inhalables.
Testing – Signatories will work with accredited laboratories to guarantee the quality and safety of products.
Labelling – A set of labelling guidelines will be produced, which signatories must adhere to. This will ensure the fair, honest and safe sale of CBD products that consumers can trust.
Manufacturing – The charter will use the ISO 9001 framework and cGMP, and a set of principles inspired by best practice accreditation organisations from around the world.
Controlled Drugs – The CMC will work to establish a clear definition of ‘undetectable amounts’ of controlled substances (such as THC and CBN). Following this, all signatories will be required to adhere to these limits.
Marketing Ethics – All advertising, whether online, offline or in-store, should not make reference to medical claims (as defined by MHRA), sexuality, violence, illegal behaviour, political affiliation or religious references through its imagery or language.
Sustainability and Social Impact – The charter will outline principles to help to ensure a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. For example, being aware of land and natural resource use; responsible waste management; fair employment; and plastic pollution.
For peace of mind when using CBD products, it is advised to ensure that a lab certification is available. These can usually be found online, often available alongside the listing, when bought online.
For more information on CMC’s industry findings read their report: CBD in the UK.