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The UK has become the first country in the world to regulate the market for safe, orally consumed legal cannabis extracts following the release today (March 31) of the Food Standards Agency’s public list of cannabinoid (CBD) products permitted for consumer sale.
Publication of the list – a key stage on the path to full authorisation, expected in 2023 – follows two years of close co-operation between the FSA and the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), the UK’s CBD sector trade body.
Only those CBD products featured on the list have been given the green light by the FSA to stay on the market, in line with the UK’s Novel Food requirements. Products not included must now be removed from shelves.
Steve Moore, ACI founder, commented: “The FSA public list represents a major milestone for the UK’s CBD category. It demonstrates the progress the sector has made to meet compliance requirements and creates greater regulatory certainty which, in turn, will increase levels of consumer trust, encourage investment in the sector, and promote innovation.”
The ACI is working in tandem with Trading Standards to enforce the new rules immediately, with any company offering unlisted CBD products for sale facing possible action by its officers.
Pharmacies have been urged to check their current stock against the list to ensure they are compliant. ACI has launched a new website
to serve as a reference point enabling consumers, retailers, health practitioners and enforcement authorities to verify whether a product is being sold legally.
The FSA list covers products sold in England and Wales. Products designed to be inhaled, such as vapes, or applied to the skin, including cosmetics and massage oils, do not fall under the FSA’s remit.
The UK market for consumer CBD products was worth £690m in 2021, according to ACI estimates – more than double the level of sales recorded in 2019. The country is now the world’s second largest market for consumer CBD behind the US.