IS YOUR UK CBD SUPPLIER CONSIDERED TO BE LEGAL BY THE HOME OFFICE AND MHRA?
In this article we would like to introduce the Cannabis Trades Association UK that was founded in 2016 by Canabidol™ and the other main leading suppliers of CBD in the UK. While not endorsing the sellers list, the association members are considered to be legal, legitimate and has met the standards required by the Home Office and MHRA
As of the 3rd October 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued notices to a number of CBD suppliers stating that cannabidiol (CBD) was being designated as a medicine and that sales of all CBD products must stop within 28 days.
A follow-up statement was made by the MHRA on the 13th October confirming that this was only an opinion and that it was only products that are marketed for medical purposes that would be classed as medicines by the UK regulatory body. The statement further confirmed that it was only those that are marketed for medical purposes that would require regulatory approval for the medical claims.
This lead to great confusion by consumers in the UK as to the legal status of CBD and whether these products would still be available The confusion was compounded by many false reports of CBD being banned in the media.
The Cannabis Trades Association UK was Founded
Due to the uncertainty of the legal status of CBD oil, a not for profit organisation named Cannabis Trades Association UK (CTAUK) was established by Canabidol™ and other leading CBD suppliers in the UK to represent theindustry and protect the interests of CBD consumers.
The Cannabis Trades Association UK met with the MHRA on 3rd November 2016 at the UK regulatory body headquarters in Victoria, London. The meeting lead to an understanding by the MHRA that the association was a professional body trying to unite a fledgling industry behind a set of industry practices and common standards.
The Cannabis Trades Association UK is working with the MHRA to ensure a fair standard is produced that allows for the sale of CBD in the food supplement market up to an agreed daily dosage.
The Cannabis Trades Association UK obtained legal advice including Counsel’s opinion which was shared with the MHRA. The aim was to convince the MHRA that the association could establish a set of rules, guidelines and standards that would enable the industry to comply with its requirements.
Our main purpose is to work with industry and government to ensure this market continues to grow, providing safe, effective and tested products for consumers and job security for its workers in the industry.
The association is working with all companies in the industry to advocate the case for a fully regulated market while talking to the UK government to develop a more liberal regulatory framework.
Canabidol™ and our Involvement with the Cannabis Trades Association UK
As a founding member of the Cannabis Trades Association UK we wanted to ensure that CBD companies within the UK work together and the highest standards of compliance are maintained throughout the industry.
The Cannabis Trades Association UK was formed by a number of founder members and industry experts who had developing businesses supplying the growing demand for legal cannabis based products.
The Association members united to create a body to eliminate bad practice and to ensure that member businesses continue to trade legitimately and ethically within the CBD sector. Up until now we have focused on the growing CBD oil market, but the association’s reach includes hemp and hemp products which are all legal definitions of the cannabis plant.
Our members agree to uphold standards based around the ethos of fair and transparent trading conditions, ensuring members of the public know who they are dealing with, displaying correct and proper business information, ensuring they trade legally with respect to insurances and registration and above all fairness. No member of the Association will make medical claims nor provide medical or medicinal advice. Lastly no member will slander or denigrate another members’ business.
They are a group of like minded and honest businesses who believe that Hemp and Cannabis products have the power to revolutionise modern life. Above all else our work is to change perceptions based around decades of misinformation and prejudice.
Requirements for Cannabis Trades Associations UK Members
All products must meet the labelling criteria the association requires and clearly state the total milligram content of CBD and include recommended dosage instructions. This is in addition to the statutory requirement for food labelling as required by the food labelling guidelines.
Independent 3rd party Certificate of Analysis (Lab Reports) must be available to consumers for every batch stating the full cannabinoid profiles.
The business must hold an appropriate and valid insurance in respect of public and employers’ liability.
Ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to abide by the laws and regulationsgoverning the manufacture, import, distribution, and sale of CBD products.
Never knowingly sell or misrepresent counterfeit or substandard products.
Never knowingly sell CBD products to anyone under the age of 18
Promote the responsible usage of cannabis derived products.
Report to the Association any products or sellers that may cause damage, harm or bring disrepute onto the industry.
Ensure that all sellers of branded products adhere to the rules of the Association.
What progress have the Cannabis Trades Association UK made.
The Cannabis Trades Association UK is working to iron out the main problems with the MHRA, the MHRA opinion of CBD and the continued supply of CBD as a food supplement. We’re continuing to work with the EIHA and we receive regular updates from their team.
Although the EIHA is a much larger organisation, we are still the preferred contact portal for the MHRA because we are UK centric. Although the MHRA do not regulate food supplements, their determination of nutritional product and its borderline between a food supplement and a medicine is critical.
Essentially the Cannabis Trades Association UK suggests that CBD products with daily adult dosage of up to 200mg should continue to be marketed as a food supplement. The MHRA is considering this representations made by the Cannabis Trades Association UK in addition to representation made by other trade bodies regarding CBD products and have confirmed that these representations are broadly similar in approach and provide detailed levels of scientific rationale on which they have been determined.
Given our close relationship with the MHRA and being the preferred contact for the industry in the UK. We will continue to work with the MRHA to clearly define the framework for CBD products and their sale within the UK as a food supplement.
More recently our involvement with the Home Office, regarding the issues around THC and the Home Office recent stipulation and definition of the so called 1mg rule when it comes to controlled substances.
Essentially this makes any product that contains more than 1mg of THC within a final packaged product illegal. Although Canabidol™ product are THC free we are committed to clarifying the legal standpoint for other sellers in the UK. To remove the THC from our product through the developments we have made in our extraction process require much more complex and costly methods than many of the crude extracts that are currently available on the market.
It is however essential for us as a company to ensure that others within the industry are operating within the law to provide a trouble free and unblemished future for this fledgling industry.
The Home Office has recently started to use the Cannabis Trades Association UK websitecannabistrades.uk as a reference recently and regularly asks advice with regards to members and sellers, and we understand keeps an eye on those registering as members
Working with the Government to Self-Regulate the Industry
All members of the association have a vested interest in ensuring that the industry and companies within it are operating within the law.
We have already funded at great expense an in depth legal review including counsel’s opinion regards the certain aspects of the sale of CBD within the UK. As and when new concerns or legal uncertainties arise within the industry the legal team is always consulted and a professional legal opinion is obtained.
We also have an agreement in place that the Cannabis Trades Association UK share data if the Home Office or MHRA have any concerns and we also now have a reporting system in place.
So far the Cannabis Trades Association UK has reported 5 sellers to the authorities where there is sufficient concern to warrant the action, in each case founder members have been contacted to give authority on the actions of the Cannabis Trades Association UK. The association have further reported 3 sellers of sub-standard oils or products to the FSA or Trading Standards.