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UK consumer health sector faces ‘biggest shake-up in a decade’ as FSA readies to release permitted CBD products list

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The UK’s consumer health sector is set for its “biggest shake-up in more than a decade” when the Food Standards Agency (FSA) releases its long-awaited public list of cannabinoid (CBD) products permitted for sale to consumers, claims the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI)

Only products on the list will be able to stay on the market, while those not included will have to be taken off sale. ACI says it believes that Trading Standards officers will “apply the new rules immediately”, meaning that companies that continue to sell unlisted CBD products risk facing enforcement action.

ACI says publication of the list is “imminent”. The trade body has developed an online resource – www.UKCBDList.com – that will enable consumers, retailers and health practitioners to ensure they are buying and selling only permitted products.

For more than 18 months, the FSA has been evaluating the safety of CBD products in line with the UK’s Novel Food requirements. This assessment process was accessible to any CBD product formulated for oral use that was on sale in the UK on or before 13 February 2020, with the deadline for applications fixed at 31 March 2021.

Steve Moore, ACI founder, said the release of the list was generating considerable excitement in the legal cannabis extract sector. “The FSA has put in a tremendous amount of work to assess the many applications made, including the super-dossier submitted by ACI on behalf of our members. A key concern will be helping people to find out quickly and easily if the CBD products they are purchasing or offering for sale are permitted and safe. ACI’s new website, UKCBDList.com,will be the definitive source of information for determining this.”

The UK market for consumer CBD products was worth £690 million in 2021, according to ACI estimates – more than double the level of sales recorded in 2019, when the market was valued at £314 million. The UK is now the world’s second largest market for consumer CBD, behind only the US.

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