THE self-regulated CBD industry is coming under closer scrutiny from the authorities as its march into the homes of millions of European continues at a breathtaking speed.
The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) is the most recent trade group to emerge in the UK; it spun out of the Centre For Medicinal Cannabis (CMC).
It launched its own kitemark in March this year – The ACI Safety Certification – with this following some recent CMC research which found wide discrepancies between CBD product descriptions and content.
Many products in UK stores were found to contain illegal levels of the psychoactive cannabis compound THC ( Tetrahydrocannabinol) and many overstated their CBD – cannabinoid – levels.
The ACI says it will ensure all products are robustly tested, manufactured safely, labelled correctly and sustainable.
Pharmacy Lead at the CMC Dr Andy Yates said those who sign up to the ACI Charter will have to put ‘their products under intense, but necessary scrutiny’, to prove a product is ‘safe’.
Last Autumn the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA), which has over 1,000 members worldwide, launched TrustCanna.
Hugh McKeown, CEO of TrustCanna, wants businesses involved in the legal CBD industry to sign-up to the register and secure the TrustCanna seal of approval.
The creation of TrustCanna is in response to growing compliance concerns across the industry.
CTA chairman Mike Harlington had said in some recent tests just 11% of CBD products were able to verify their content claims.
Mr McKeown said the new initiative is designed to re-assure regulators and help lead to the creation of a controlled market which would happily align with ‘sensible legislation’.
Cannabis Professionals – CannaPro – is a third trade association for the UK’s cannabis, CBD and hemp businesses.
It has been co-founded by long-time cannabis advocate Peter Reynolds and offers guidance and support to all businesses, to navigate through law and regulations on drugs, medicines, food and cosmetics.
CannaPro says those wishing to be certified will be reviewed for their products, trading standards, marketing and conduct, and certified companies will be entitled to display the CannaPro badge as a mark of quality, ethics and reliability. Membership of CannaPro is free.
On the Continent the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) represents the the industrial hemp sector in Europe, and has hundreds of members.
It is currently leading on efforts to shape legislation around the European Union’s Novel Food proposals.
Market analysts at the Brightfield Group predict Europe’s CBD market to increase by 400% to $1.7bn by 2023.