UK CBD Industry Seeks Urgent Clarity and Regulatory Framework from Home Office

The UK’s flourishing CBD industry, represented by the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), is urgently making an appeal. They’re entreating the Home Office to bring much-needed security and relieve the nagging uncertainty that millions of consumers currently endure by providing a clear regulatory landscape for the sector.

Key Takeaways:

  • The UK CBD industry, represented by the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), calls on the Home Office for strict regulations and clarity regarding the sale of CBD products.
  • CBD products have enjoyed a booming market, both online and in retail, for over a decade, despite the absence of formal regulation.
  • The current regulatory ambiguity is perceived as hindering innovation in the industry and complicating businesses’ operations.
  • Approximately 400 companies operating in the CBD sector are potentially at risk due to the prolonged uncertainty.

In the last couple of years, CBD, or cannabidiol, has become a popular choice among approximately 18 million adults in the UK due to its potential health and wellness benefits. CBD has enjoyed a decade-long stint of unregulated sales both online and in mainstream retailers.

Despite committing in January 2021 to establish a legal framework for the sale of CBD products, the Home Office has yet to act. Last year, the Home Office asked for advice from the Government’s Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on how to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act concerning CBD product sales. In December, after a public consultation, the ACMD presented a detailed report to the Home Office offering recommendations on an appropriate framework for CBD sales.

In spite of the guidance from the ACMD report, business innovation and operation in the CBD sector is still being impeded by the absence of Novel Food authorisations due to the absence of clear legislation by the Home Office, which is currently in control of over 12,000-over-the-counter CBD products available for sale in England and Wales.

The underlying ambiguity has put a lull in the £690 million CBD industry, which accommodates more than 400 CBD businesses. Companies like Jersey Hemp have borne the brunt of this dilemma, with the export restrictions enforced by the Home Office leading to its shutdown because of trace cannabinoids found in its products. This situation has been dubbed a ‘vulnerability’ to companies operating in the CBD sector.

Riding the wave of concern over the faltering progress, the #SaveOurCBD campaign was officially launched on 28th August. The campaign urges the Home Office to address the issue. Steve Moore, a representative of the campaign, urged the Home Office to dispel any legal ambiguity for the industry.

The Home Office responds: Considering the recommendations from the ACMD’s report, they plan to bring ‘greater clarity’ to the industry, specifying the limits for controlled substances like THC in CBD products.

What BRITISH CANNABIS™ has to say:

As an authoritative voice in the CBD sector, we echo the sentiments of our industry peers in urging the Home Office to clarify the regulatory landscape surrounding CBD products. Such steps are pivotal for ensuring the sector’s robustness and consumers’ confidence, thus promoting a safe, secure, and responsible environment for consumers and businesses alike.

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