MOVES to deliver safe and compliant CBD products are gathering pace – as authorities across Europe continue to crack down on the sector.
During a two-day online conference organised by the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) and the Nova Institute, further details emerged on industry efforts to secure the future for CBD products.
EIHA President Daniel Kruse revealed its members had earlier in the week voted unanimously to pursue a £3.15m (€3.5m) Novel Food consortium application.
This comes as the latest figures show that around 150 food businesses have been reported for CBD Novel Food and THC-level breaches in the last 18 months.
Twin-Track Approach To CBD Compliance
Mr Kruse outlined how the EIHA would continue to pursue a twin-track approach to securing compliance for its members’ hemp and CBD food products.
He said: “EIHA will continue the fight to show that hemp CBD is a traditional food, but the consortium approach to our Novel Food application will provide the legal and financial security we need for our industry. This gives a second level of security for member companies.”
In a separate address, EIHA Managing Director Lorenza Romanese said it is still looking for evidence to show that CBD has been used in food, across Europe, prior to the cut off point for Novel Food in 1997.
In a plea to the hundreds of online delegates, she said: “If you have any recipes that demonstrate the use of the leaves and flowers in foods, then please send us the evidence. It could change the course of the history of Novel Foods.”
Over 30 CBD Sanctions In Germany
In a further address on the second day of the conference Jacek Kramarz, co-founder of HemPoland and board member of the EIHA, highlighted how there had been a marked rise in hemp and cannabinoid enforcement since the introduction of Novel Food CBD rules in January 2019.
These are notified under the European Union RASFF – Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed – which sees national authorities alert fellow member states if they have ‘serious risk’ concerns on food for sale in their domestic markets.
In 2018, the number of such notifications was five, this rose to 118 for 2019, and a further 38 had been reported to the end of May this year.
The majority – 99 of these – had been in relation to breaches of the CBD, as a Novel Food, designation.
The authorities with the greatest appetite for enforcing these rules are in Germany; accounting for more than 30 sanctions.
In one of the most recent cases a company based in the Hesse region was forced by the local authorities to cease selling and recall its CBD food products.
Irish, Swiss, Austrian and Czech authorities are also active in this regard, while Dutch and British authorities have yet to take any such enforcement action, he explained.
The Tide Is Turning For Hemp
In a press statement the EIHA said that over the next two to three years it would need to raise around €3.5m to proceed with four Novel Food applications.
At a cost of €500,000 each, it said the industry would need to collaborate to meet the ‘exorbitant costs for the necessary toxicological studies’.
It says the tests will involve ‘unprecedented’ studies on CBD and THC.
Mr Kruse went on to say the tide is turning for the hemp industry, while Novel Food compliance will be a key challenge for the industry the EIHA was intent on supporting reform to the Common Agricultural Policy to ensure greater recognition for hemp.
He added: “Things are changing with the decision makers. They are now in favour of hemp and we will win. Over the next seven years we will see hemp’s potential begin to materialise across the agricultural sector in Europe.”