By Peter Reynolds, of CannaPro
THIS is the story of how brave British small-businesses created a £1.7bn market and now face destruction at the hands of the overbearing regulators.
Hundreds of people who set up small businesses selling CBD products face the looming deadline of March 31, 2021 that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has imposed for its ‘Novel Foods’ regulations to come into force.
These people, the essence of the British entrepreneurial spirit, are being crushed by misguided over-regulation that is not based on any evidence and which will gift the market to big business while removing from shelves the products which millions of people have gained great benefit from.
The FSA has not consulted with the industry in any meaningful fashion and is imposing draconian new rules which even at this late stage remain unclear, confusing and require enormous, unnecessary and wasteful expenditure in pointless bureaucracy.
No Harm From CBD
To be clear, if you are one of those millions who discovered that CBD could help with anxiety, pain, insomnia and or a host of other conditions, the products you rely on may not be available for much longer.
The most important thing to understand is that there is no evidence anywhere in the world that anyone has ever come to any real harm from using CBD products.
Despite this, the FSA is forcing businesses to put their products through an incredibly complex series of tests which cost a huge amount of money, in some instances hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Even the smallest companies are having to submit a dossiers on individual products which cost around £5,000 each to produce.
Imagine how many bottles of CBD oil a small shop or website has to sell to pay for just one of these. And they are completely pointless. There is no need for them at all.
The FSA has just invented them and it’s nothing to do with public safety because there is no danger from any of the products concerned.
Small Business Created CBD Industry
The small businesses that created the CBD market had established trade associations from within their own ranks which charged a few hundred pounds for membership and did an excellent job of representing the industry.
There are problems in the CBD market that need addressing. It does need better regulation.
There are disreputable businesses selling products that are not what they claim. They don’t have the amount of CBD in them that is advertised and they are certainly not medicines which can treat cancer, diabetes, depression and serious illnesses.
But these problems are already covered by existing laws. The problem is they are simply not being enforced. The regulators who should be acting against these rogue companies include the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Trading Standards.
Despite reputable CBD businesses delivering hundreds of reports about rogue suppliers, virtually nothing has been done. To be fair the MHRA and Trading Standards just don’t have the resources to carry out this work, so the idea of giving them even more work, with incredibly complex regulations to enforce, is just barmy. It makes no sense.
Even our largest newspaper publishers have been allowed to get away with breaching the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 which prevent anyone from making a commercial gain out of claiming medicinal benefit for a product which is not a licensed medicine.
These crimes have been reported to the MHRA and to the ASA but they have done nothing about it and the illegal advertising continues to this day.
As for the confidence trickster companies making these illegal medicinal claims, nothing has been done about them either and they continue to scam people with cancer cures and miracle medicines.
The FSA’s understanding of CBD and cannabis is virtually non-existent. The original CBD trade associations spent years trying to educate FSA’s people and urging them to co-operate on appropriate regulation but they didn’t want to know.
Now the FSA has chosen to listen to its own experts’ who are trained and indoctrinated in the prohibition mindset.
Consequently its statements and rulings on its new regulations are so poorly drafted that they leave a gaping hole for the brave, pioneering businesses that created this market.
A genuine, whole plant oil that preserves the natural proportions of the compounds in the hemp plants from which it is extracted is molecularly identical to those plants and hemp is specifically excluded from novel foods regulations.
So ‘whole plant’ is what you must look for if you want ‘real CBD’, the product that so many people benefit from.
The Home Office And THC Levels
CBD originally took off because more and more people were becoming aware of the medicinal benefits of cannabis. CBD was seen as a way to enjoy some of these benefits legally and without getting ‘high’ from the THC in cannabis.
But CBD was always a euphemism to avoid the stigma around cannabis and to reassure people they weren’t buying something illegal. In fact, whole plant CBD products are low-THC cannabis oil.
Under a provision of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, a trace amount of 1mg of THC per bottle of CBD oil has been allowed. It’s far too little to get anyone high. You’d have to drink about three bottles in one go before you felt anything.
However in January the Home Office decided to take another look at these levels and is looking to establish new guidelines with the potential to increase the allowance to 3mg of THC in a 30ml bottle.
The second suggested level would have seriously damaging consequences for the industry. It would make it practically impossible to remove all THC, at a level down to one hundredth of a milligram.
There is an opportunity for the industry to make its representations to the UK authorities and we at CannaPro are supporting the efforts of the European Industrial Hemp Association and The Cannabis Trades Association in this regard.
Yet, there is no evidence that the trace amounts of THC in whole plant oil have or could cause anyone any harm and it is all part of the same regulatory scam.
Peter Reynolds is director of Cannabis Professionals (CannaPro). To hear more from Mr Reynolds on this subject and others, visit his website: Click Here