The UK’s food safety watchdog the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published the first list of CBD – or cannabis-based – food products which are expected to be authorised for sale in the UK.
To date, no food products containing CBD – the active ingredient found within hemp and cannabis – have been authorised for sale in the UK, which is expected to be the first country in the world to regulate the market for safe, orally consumed legal cannabis extracts.
Publication of the list is a key stage on the path to full authorisation, which is expected in 2023. The move follows two years of close co-operation between the FSA and the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), the UK’s CBD sector trade body.
The FSA said the list – which includes nearly 5,000 products which will fall under its regulatory wing – was the next step in regulating the market.
It is now calling on local authorities and retailers to help bring the CBD market into compliance by removing products that are not on the list.
Despite the move, FSA chief executive Emily Miles said the FSA “does remain concerned about CBD”.
“While we haven’t yet been shown enough evidence to say that CBD is unsafe, nor is there enough evidence to show that it is safe.
“We have created the public list to help local authorities and retailers prioritise products to be removed from sale. If a product is not on the list, it should be removed from sale because it is not attached to a credible application to us for market authorisation.
She added: “I want to emphasise that the FSA is not endorsing products on the public list, and inclusion on the list is no guarantee that they will be authorised as they have they not yet been fully assessed for safety.
“But we have taken the step of publishing the list so that local authorities, retailers and consumers can make informed judgments about what they stock and buy, as we gradually bring this growing market into compliance with the law.”