The UK’s CBD sector looks set to shrink significantly as the roll out of new regulations continues to batter the industry.
Companies were told to submit detailed applications to the Food Standards Agency by March 31 in order to stand any chance of getting permission for their products to remain on sale in the UK.
It followed the British government’s adoption of European rules categorising CBD products as ‘novel foods’, an established regulatory status which puts the onus on businesses to demonstrate safety and quality in order to remain on shelves.
Last month the regulator began adding products which have been validated – meaning they have been temporarily approved pending further checks for full authorisation – to a public register.
But despite rising domestic consumer demand and a decision to to only allow products already on sale to apply for authorisation, it looks like the UK could come out the other side with a much smaller CBD sector.
The FSA has confirmed to Cannabis Wealth it received applications for 803 different CBD products – but only 42 have been advanced to the next stage of the process so far.
More than half of all applications (445) were ‘incomplete’ and a further 41 have been withdrawn altogether.
The FSA is still assessing 317 applications and the regulator believes there ‘could potentially be 100s of products’ on the final list – but it now seems highly likely the process will significantly reduce the range of options available to customers.
An FSA spokesperson said: “To date only 42 products have advanced onto the public list, these are linked to four validated applications.
“This reflects the complex nature of the industry, the quality of the evidence provided and the number of suitable applications at present.
“Many of the applications that have been received have been incomplete applications and do not provide enough information to assess acceptability.
“In a high number of cases we have had to ask for further information from companies before we can progress the validation process.
“We still expect that there could potentially be 100s of products on the list by the time it is complete later in the year.
“This list will reflect the products associated with companies that have taken the time to provide sufficient information to demonstrate the safety of their products.”
The public register – which can be accessed here – is not expected to be completed until June.