UK FSA Releases List of Permitted CBD Products

Only the CBD products featured on the list may stay on the market. Products not included must be removed from shelves.

London, England—Following two years of cooperation between the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), the UK’s CBD sector trade body, the FSA has released a public list of cannabidiol (CBD) products permitted for sale to consumers. According to a press release from ACI, publication of the list is a key stage on the path to full authorization, which is expected in 2023. ACI also reported that with the publication of this list, the UK has become the first country to regulate the market for safe, orally consumed legal cannabis extracts.

Only CBD products on the list are permitted by the FSA to stay on the market, in line with the UK’s Novel Food requirements. ACI shared that CBD products on the list have been undergoing assessment by the FSA in a “long and rigorous” Novel Food process that was open to any CBD product designed for oral consumption that was on sale in the UK on or before February 12, 2020, with the deadline for applications set at March 31, 2021. Any product launched after the February date, or which was not the subject of a dossier submitted by the cut-off date, may not now be sold until full authorization is granted. Products not on the list must be removed from shelves.

“The FSA public list represents a major milestone for the UK’s CBD category,” said Steve Moore, ACI Founder. “It demonstrates the progress the sector has made to meet compliance requirements and creates greater regulatory certainty which, in turn, will increase levels of consumer trust, encourage investment in the sector, and promote innovation. ACI is immensely grateful for the work that our members and the FSA have put in to take this momentous step.”

ACI also shared that it is working with Trading Standards to enforce the new rules, with any company offering unlisted CBD products for sale facing possible action by its officers. The FSA list covers products sold in England and Wales. Products designed to be inhaled or applied to the skin do not fall under the FSA’s remit. Businesses selling CBD products for human consumption are urged to check their stock against the list to ensure they are compliant. ACI has launched www.UKCBDList.com to serve as a reference point for consumers, retailers, health practitioners, and enforcement authorities to verify whether a product is being sold legally.

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ACI said it is willing to work with CBD businesses that failed to make it onto the list. “At this moment in time, we understand that, for some CBD businesses, the news will not be positive, and we openly invite those businesses to contact us at ACI to understand their next steps within this fledgling and rapidly growing market,” Moore commented. “We are here to support this industry and its community to thrive.”

The UK market for consumer CBD products was worth £690M in 2021, more than double the sales recorded in 2019, making the UK the world’s second largest market for consumer CBD, behind the U.S.