The regulated Market
Risks of overregulating the CBD market
The so called “unregulated” CBD market
UNCLEAR LEGAL SITUATION, LACK OF EXPERTISE
Even though CBD products are available in stores and online, the market is by no means unregulated. This is because the legal situation as well as the legal application practice regulating sales and distribution are equally ambiguous. Hemp is already one of the most regulated plants in Europe. Moreover, hemp producers frequently run into the risk of losing the whole harvest, even if the crop has 0,01% too much THC. The whole harvest would be burned in these cases. The extraction facilities in Europe have to obtain special licenses to just be able to extract CBD from the raw plant. If they do not obtain these licenses, they can not and will not extract any CBD, because even if the raw product contains less than 0,2% THC, the first raw extract called Crude, usually does. That is why only certified Companies with special medical or drug handling licences may even extract CBD. The results are astonishing: Most of the “real CBD products that were manufactured in Europe already have real high quality standards, since nobody wants to get their own product jeopardized by any lurking authority.
BUT: there are no quality standards whatsoever with regard to the production and concentration of CBD products. Hemp isa very deep rooting plant that captures almost every toxin in its soil. Therefore producers and traders should have to check toxins and heavy metals, but also CBD concentrations in their products. Last but not least, there is currently a lack of competent contact persons who objectively address the topic of CBD, conduct research and educational work and ensure transparency. All of this leads to a lack of knowledge and uncertainty about the effects of CBD products in politics, at the responsible authorities, consumer protection organisations and associations – and ultimately to undifferentiated assessments and a wrong classification of CBD as a supposed narcotic or as a pharmaceutical products, when it could also be considered as foodstuff.
Risks of the Market
DUBIOUS SUPPLIERS, LACK OF CONSUMER PROTECTION
The CBD market is a young, lucrative industry that is growing rapidly – but not without risks. Wherever a new market emerges, there are not only reputable suppliers but also black sheep who want to profit from the success of the industry and offer questionable products – among other things of dubious quality and with unfair advertising. This is not only to the detriment of reputable suppliers of CBD products, but also concerns the issue of consumer protection. There is therefore a need for action.
- The re-declaration of Cannabinoid products as Foodstuff should apply to all non toxic Cannabinoids.
- At the moment it is very hard for uninvolved people to differentiate between hemp oil, CBD-Oils and Full spectrum Oils. Dubious suppliers (even well known medical corporations) market pure hemp oil with no CBD at all (even in pharmacies) and make it seem like CBD-Oil, just because they price it higher and have the proper wording.
- Percentage levels compound amounts:
what seems to be confusing is the percentage level of cannnabinoids contained in a product, since every oil has a different molar mass and therefore 10% CBD in 10ml of a MCT oil equals 945 mg CBD whereas a 10% Hemp seed oil is around 923mg.- What should always. be mentioned is the amount of CBD thateachprodduct offers
One huge risk is that overly regulating how products are produced will limit free enterprise. While we do wish a variety of first class and safe products to come on the market, we strongly advocate that every company can decide for themselves on how they produce and dose cannabinoids in their products as long as they keep food standards alive and keep the product safe. It should be entirely up to them, if they keep up the safety standards which are already in place. The only thing they should care about is to not fool anybody into buying a product, which is not what it is advertised.
Law abiding foods
The European High court stated already in 2009(Case 243/06) that hemp extracts that have less than 0,2% THC are to be considered as foodstuff. We urge the European Commission to respect it’s very own courts decision and reclassify all hemp extracts the way they did: as food:
It must be pointed out first of all that, as the Board of Appeal stated in paragraph of the contested decision, the word ‘cannabis’ has three possible meanings. First, the word ‘cannabis’ refers to a textile plant the common organisation of the market in which is regulated within the Community framework and the production of which is subject to very strict legislation as regards the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient of cannabis, which may not exceed the threshold of 0.2% (see Article 5a of Council Regulation (EC) No 1251/1999 of 17 May 1999 establishing a support system for producers of certain arable crops (OJ 1999 L 160, p. 1), as amended, and Article 7b(1) and Annexes XII and XIII to Commission Regulation (EC) No 2316/1999 of 22 October 1999 laying down detailed rules for the application of Regulation No 1251/1999 (OJ 1999 L 280, p. 43), as amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 206/2004 of 5 February 2004 (OJ 2004 L 34, p. 33)). Secondly, the word ‘cannabis’ refers to a narcotic which is prohibited in a great number of Member States. Thirdly, it designates a substance the possible therapeutic use of which is under discussion, as is apparent from the European Commission’s answer to written question E-0039/02 of 23 January 2002 (OJ 2002 C 147 E, p. 232).
20 It must also be noted that two scientific studies submitted by OHIM state that cannabis, also referred to as ‘hemp’, is used in the food sector in different forms (oils, herbal teas) and in different preparations (teas, pasta, bakery and biscuits, alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, etc.). That is borne out by the documents submitted by the intervener stating that hemp is used in the production of certain foodstuffs and beverages. The toxicological analyses carried out on those goods show that they contain a very low concentration of THC, considerably lower than the abovementioned threshold of 0.2% and that they have no psychotropic effects.
21 Lastly, contrary to the applicant’s arguments, it is apparent from Article 4 of Directive 88/388 that the use of flavourings which do not contain any element or substance in a toxicologically dangerous quantity is permitted.
22 Those findings thus show, contrary to the applicant’s arguments, first, that the word ‘cannabis’ does not merely refer to drugs and to certain therapeutic substances and, secondly, that hemp is lawfully used in the production of foodstuffs and beverages.