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NEWS FSA Announces CBD Novel Food Deadline for UK Businesses

food standards agency tweet 13 feb 2020 cbd deadline novel foods

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On the 13 February 2020, the FSA publicly announced guidelines surrounding cannabidiol (CBD) for the industry. These guidelines contained a deadline of 31 March 2021 for CBD companies to submit a valid Novel Foods application to receive authorisation to be sold in the EU/UK market or risk enforcement.

For a food to be novel in the eyes of the European Commission, the proposed food product must not have been used as a food or food ingredient before 15 May 1997. [1] The CBD industry attempted to provide sufficient historical evidence that CBD rich hemp extracts had a long history of use before 15 May 1997 [2], still, the status of CBD was ultimately decided to be novel in the end despite hemp having a rich history.


What Novel Food status meant for UK CBD

This new status meant any product containing CBD would require additional evidence of their safety to be allowed to stay on the market for human consumption. [3]

The specified deadline of 31 March 2021 from the FSA [4] means many CBD companies will struggle to meet the exacting requirements and may have to remove their CBD products from sale. CBD products must be able to pass a pre-market safety assessment and receive authorisation under the Novel Foods Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 2015/2283), [5] or receive some form of exemption.

The FSA is recommending companies submit their applications to the European Commission, but also that they submit them to the FSA as well, so they “can then give businesses guidance and answer any queries.” [3]

This indicates the FSA are enthusiastic to assist legitimate companies during the process, boding well for the long-term survival of the CBD industry as a whole. The end objective is that those reliant on CBD will still have access, but in a much better-regulated market for their own safety.


What it means for legitimate companies

For companies like Hempura that already operate to stringent requirements, the level of concern is almost nil about the inevitable ‘crackdown’, as the current Hempura product range is anticipated to meet any criteria already.

This is, in fact, good news and has likely been long overdue. Not only has the FSA provided a route for application towards legal and compliant CBD products to be sold in the UK/EU, but at the same time has identified how it plans to enforce against illegitimate products that blight the industry as it stands today.

“While founding Hempura, it remained incredibly important that every aspect of the company was legitimate, safe and healthy for this definitive moment in the CBD industry. It was inevitable the CBD market was to become more regulated and consolidated. Having taken the proper path and not cut corners up until this point, Hempura is now in a perfect state to earn a principal position in the UK CBD industry.”

– Lewis Hadaway, Hempura Founder

Hempura CBD products already possess robust quality & safety, with these factors being critical during company formation.

Due to legitimate foundations and a trustworthy supply chain, it is highly unlikely Hempura products are removed from sale before or after March 2021, with a plan already formulated in line with current events to assure continued market approval.

For those on the right side of the Novel Foods requirements, this is excellent news. For those on the wrong side, the next 12 months could prove alarming.




Last Updated on 01/03/2022

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