CBD companies are learning their fates as the Food Standards Agency begins to validate products permitted to remain on shelves in the UK.
All CBD companies operating domestically were required to apply for novel food status by March 31 under new regulations designed to harmonise domestic rules with European law post-Brexit.
Under the new system any company selling a CBD product that was on the market prior to February 13 needed to submit sufficient quality and safety data to the regulator for each product.
Companies are being informed whether or not their products have met required standards from the FSA directly and decisions are also being made available online via a public register.
The FSA has today confirmed this initial list is only provisional with a full register of authorised products not due to be completed until June 2021.
The list distinguishes between validated products and ‘on hold’ applications in instances where sufficient data has not yet been received but companies have set out ‘set out robust plans to complete the risk assessment’.
Products which have not submitted application should be withdrawn from the market with criminal prosecutions possible for company directors who do not comply.
Emily Miles, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, said: “This is about bringing the CBD industry into compliance with the law. Consumers need to be able to trust that these products are safe and are what they say they are.
“Companies were given until the end of March to submit their applications for safety assessment. Those who haven’t done this should take their products off the market.
“Products on the list that have been linked to a validated or on hold application will now undergo a full safety assessment so that a final decision can be made.
“When complete, the list can be used by suppliers and retailers to confirm the status of particular products and to help local authorities inform their enforcement decisions.
“The FSA is not endorsing the sale of any of these products, regardless of whether they are on the list or not and inclusion on the list is no guarantee of eventual authorisation; that will be determined on the strength of evidence of safety submitted by the companies.”
At time of writing, only 23 products manufactured by three companies (Pureis, 4MP and CBDex) are currently validated and none added to the ‘on hold’ list as of yet.
Cannabis Health has approached the FSA for clarity over when the register will be completed.
Validation is only the ‘first step in the process’, according to the FSA, and is granted to products where sufficient lab data has been submitted to allow the agency to carry out further checks pending full authorisation.
As previously reported, there is no appeals process for companies whose products have been denied validation but the register will be updated weekly according to the FSA.