The European Union (EU) has temporarily suspended applications for novel food hemp products in a move that has raised questions about the need for CBD regulation in the UK.

Following the announcement that the EU is considering whether hemp products should be labelled as narcotics, speculation within the UK has risen as to how this will affect CBD consumption here.

Tony Calamita, chief executive officer at Love Hemp, said retailers in the UK investing in CBD won’t be impacted, but it raises the question of needing a compliant and well-regulated market.

What is CBD?

“If anything, it shows the importance of the education needed in the [CBD] market. Convenience stores are already investing in CBD products, and this will continue to grow in the next five years,” he said.

Calamita added that it is also “highly unlikely” that CBD could be made illegal in the UK, with the Food Standards Agency having already assured the UK market that it is still formally accepting novel food applications from January 2021, and it doesn’t class THC-free CBD products as narcotics.

“Oils, edibles, cosmetics, e-liquids and more are all continuously being produced to provide safe and innovative ways to consume CBD,” he said.

How retailers can benefit from CBD products

Retailer Amit Puntambekar, of Ash’s Store (Nisa) in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, said while he suspects that regulating CBD is not a priority for the government, he believes regulation will be needed as the market expands.

“At the moment, my shoppers aren’t concerned about quality control as such. They will buy vapes, e-liquids and CBD products mainly on price.

“However, some customers have asked if it is legal, because sometimes the packaging features a hemp flower, so education is still needed,” he added.

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