A group of cannabis and CBD companies is calling on the UK’s Home Office to establish a legal framework for the sale of CBD products more than two years after it committed to regulating around the cannabinoid.

The #SaveOurCBD campaign, which is backed by 15 industry members, reports CBD products have been sold online and on UK’s High Streets for more than 10 years without legal clarity or formal regulation. 

In February 2020, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) unveiled plans to regulate CBD as a food product. Millions of pounds have since been invested in research to meet the food safety standards mandated by the Novel Foods process. The FSA regulates over-the-counter CBD products in England and Wales, recommending a maximum daily intake of 70 mg.

In January 2021, the Home Office sought advice from the Government's Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to make amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act to accommodate the sale of CBD products. After a year-long public consultation and public call for evidence, ACMD submitted a report to the Home Office in December 2021 outlining recommendations for a legal framework to accommodate CBD sales. 

The UK’s Home Office has still not taken any further action or provided any legal clarity. Campaign endorsers say the resulting uncertainty threatens the future of more than 400 companies who supply over 12,000 products consumed by 18 million adults in the UK, potentially jeopardizing a market estimated to be worth £690 million ($868 million).

The campaign added that a lack of legal clarity prevents the FSA from granting Novel Food authorizations, stalling business operations and impeding innovation in the sector. It also cited a Home Office ruling leading to the closure of Jersey Hemp, which creates uncertainty for every business operating in this sector.

"We understand the complexities the Home Office faces, but businesses have consistently acted responsibly throughout this period,” said Steve Moore, a representative of the #SaveOurCBD campaign and lead counsel for The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry. “There is no valid reason why the Home Office cannot provide the much-needed legal clarity that the industry urgently seeks."

Industry members endorsing the #SaveOurCBD campaign include: 

  • Alponics
  • Association for the Cannabinoid Industry
  • Britannia Life Sciences
  • British Cannabis
  • Curaleaf
  • Dragonfly CBD
  • Farmabios
  • Goodbody Botanicals
  • Herbotany Health
  • Jersey Hemp
  • IX Biopharma
  • Linnea
  • Naturecan
  • NW PharmaTech
  • Verdant Health