UK CBD industry calls for legal clarity to reassure millions of consumers

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Gummy candy snacks have become a vital part of consumers' lives. Pic: GettyImages
Gummy candy snacks have become a vital part of consumers' lives. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Cbd Gummies edibles

The UK consumer cannabinoid industry has issued an urgent plea calling on the Home Office to put in place a legal framework to cover the sale of CBD products – something the industry claimed it committed to doing in January 2021.

Steve Moore, a representative of the #SaveOurCBD campaign and Lead Counsel for The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry says: "We understand the complexities the Home Office faces, but businesses have consistently acted responsibly throughout this period. There is no valid reason why the Home Office cannot provide the much-needed legal clarity that the industry urgently seeks​."

About the CBD campaign

The #SaveOurCBD campaign is a collective effort by businesses, industry leaders, and advocates in the CBD sector to seek clarity and establish a legal framework for the UK CBD industry. The campaign aims to protect British companies, preserve jobs, and safeguard access to CBD products for the well-being of millions of consumers. For more information and to join the campaign, please: saveourcbd.org.

Under the present UK law CBD edibles (gummies) are legal in the UK, as long as they conform to specific laws and regulations, mainly concerning the levels of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However the industry claimed that other CBD products have been sold online and on every High Street for over 10 years without legal clarity or formal regulation.

In February 2020 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) unveiled detailed plans to regulate CBD as a food product. Millions of pounds have since been invested in research by an industry eager to meet the highest food safety standards mandated by the Novel Foods process.

 In January 2021, the Home Office sought advice from the Government's Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to make necessary amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act to accommodate the sale of CBD products. After a year-long public consultation and public call for evidence, ACMD submitted a comprehensive report to the Home Office in December 2021 outlining clear recommendations regarding what would constitute an appropriate legal framework to accommodate CBD sales.

Despite this, the Home Office has still not taken any further action or provided any such legal clarity, The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry said in a statement.

The resulting uncertainty now constitutes an existential threat to the future of over 400 companies that supply over 12,000 products consumed by 18 million adults in the UK, jeopardising a market estimated to be worth £690 million ($868 million).

Moreover, this lack of legal clarity now prevents the FSA from granting Novel Food authorisations, stalling businesses' operations and impeding innovation in the sector

The #SaveOurCBD campaign launched earlier this week with a simple message: “We call on the Home Office to provide urgent clarity regarding the establishment of a legal framework within which businesses can operate securely, safely, and responsibly​.”

CBD products have become a vital part of the lives of millions of consumers, with over 12,000 products permitted for sale by the FSA. The food safety authority regulates over-the-counter CBD products in England and Wales, recommending a maximum daily intake of 70mg.



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