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How CBD manufacturers are trying to circumvent new product standards


Logo of ACI lobby group

An industry group established in the United Kingdom aims to obtain a respite from complying with the European “new food ” rules . The group was formed with the aim of lobbying the interests of large CBD producers in front of European food regulators in order to provide the opportunity for the unimpeded sale of their products in the EU .

A trend has already been described on the pages of the profile electronic publication of Ukrainian hemp breeders , according to which courts in the EU decide on the classification of products containing drug-free cannabinoids as the “new products ” category , which involves a rather lengthy and costly procedure for entering the European countries market , which is specifically prescribed for of this by the EU Directive . In particular, the fact that “ In Germany it was confirmed that cannabidiol belongs to the category of“ new food products ” has already been described . 

Newton’s law says that “there is always equal and opposite opposition”, therefore , groups of Europe are forming influence groups trying to neutralize the above EU Directive or to extend the existing market for CBD products or to mitigate the impact of the adopted legislation on existing businesses based on sales of products containing non-drug cannabinoid extracts.

Against the backdrop of European Union restrictions on CBD food, the British lobby group is making efforts to sell CBD products bypassing the relevant EU Directive . The creation and goals of this kind of lobbying group in the UK are described in this article.

The new industry group, established in the United Kingdom, aims to defer compliance with European regulations on “new food ”. The group was formed with the aim of lobbying the interests of large CBD producers in front of European food regulators in order to provide the opportunity for the unimpeded sale of their products in the EU . 

The new structure consists of approximately 25 companies from Europe and North America . The composition of the "Association of cannabinoids industry» (Association for the Cannabinoid Industry, ACI) in particular, includes the London Sativa Group and Spectrum Therapeutics (a subsidiary of the Canadian company Canopy Growth, operating in 12 countries of the world ). The headquarters of individual members of the established lobbying structure are located in the United States , including Columbia Care and Charlotte's Web Holdings. The ACI-created business representatives promise to "promote full compliance" with European Union regulations , according to which cannabidiol (CBD) can not be sold as a food ingredient without prior permission, since the above drug-free cannabinoid is classified as a "new food ".

For example, the head of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis, a member of the aforementioned lobbying group, states that “the obligation of ACI members to apply for permission can facilitate enforcement for member companies selling CBD products . The new designation of food products will not disappear, and certain measures to ensure compliance with the relevant EU Directive by the authorities are inevitable. In turn, we must act within the framework of a regulatory framework that promotes sustainability, innovation and consumer confidence. ”

ACI members have committed to “eliminate” tetrahydrocannabinol found in products and adhere to testing and labeling standards, as well as marketing ethics.

ACI's approach is to protect CBD product distributors from communicating with representatives of UK regulatory agencies when government officials begin to sanction companies that do not comply with the EU New Products Directive . According to ACI lobbyists, the only way for CBD manufacturers to fully comply with the requirements for the sale of drug-free cannabinoids as food is to obtain EU approval for pre-marketing, although not a single company in the country has received such a document.

The charter of ACI says that members of the structure want to initiate a “grace period” that will allow them to sell CBD products in the UK , waiting for news of obtaining permission for pre-marketing.

The organization expects companies that are in the process of obtaining authorization to be more acceptable in the eyes of UK government regulators . This kind of approach on the part of government officials may provide more opportunities for commercializing CBD products without waiting for the end of the process of classifying CBD products as “new foods ”.

According to ACI lobbyists, in order to obtain prior authorization for “new products ”, product positions should be evaluated according to the following criteria:

•  safe for consumers

•  correct designation

•  if the new heading is intended to replace another food product , the latter should “be unfavorable from the point of view of consumer use”.

In all the above cases, it is necessary to provide a small amount of additional information to the European Commission, which decides on the possibility of selling CBD products in the EU market during the grace period received .

This kind of approach is fundamentally different from the other lobbying group, which has submitted the relevant documents to the courts of individual European countries in order to prevent the possibility of applying the above EU Directive in the territory of states where judicial disputes are currently ongoing on this issue.

Commentary of the Ukrainian Technical Hemp Association

Cannabinoids are included in the new edition of the "Catalog of food products " of the EU , which implies certain requirements to research before CBD products are placed on the market. The implementation of the specially adopted special EU Directive depends on the member countries of the Union.

Against the background of confusion with regard to the possibility of legal sale of CBD products in the territory of the United Kingdom , there are increasing companies promoting foods containing cannabidiol on the market in England or in the territory of the continental countries that make up the EU . This situation, in a number of ways, is similar to how CBD products are sold in the United States . On the one hand, they are prohibited at the level of federal law; on the other, they are widely available on the shelves of retail and wholesale stores .

According to analysts from the British food market , the drug-free cannabidiol market in the UK reaches $ 386 million per year. The lack of a clear regulatory framework governing activities on this issue is a problem for both consumers and manufacturing companies.

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