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UK’s Food Standards Agency Publishes List of Approved CBD Products

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Apr 01, 2022   
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The UK’s de facto CBD regulator, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), has issued a list of permitted cannabinoid products for sale in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The list includes around 3,500 ingestible oils and other CBD treats; cosmetic products such as CBD balms fall outside of the FSA’s purview.

Any products that didn’t make the list should now be considered unauthorized and removed from shop shelves, according to the FSA.

A CBD crackdown

The FSA began its crackdown on CBD foods back in 2020 when it announced that all oils, drinks, and treats containing the popular cannabinoid would be “taken off the shelves” by April 2021 if the manufacturer hadn’t submitted a novel foods application to the FSA by March 31, 2021.

In the leadup to that deadline, hundreds of UK-based CBD companies gathered their relevant ingredient and manufacturing data and sent off such novel foods applications. And then, come April 2021, the FSA did announce that a few dozen products had achieved an initial approval. But the announcements of who had made the list and who hadn't soon stopped. 

Now, one year later, the agency has revealed its full list of approved CBD products. And any product not found in this list is hereby considered unapproved and ripe for removal.

“We have created the public list to help local authorities and retailers prioritise products to be removed from sale,” Emily Miles, chief executive of the FSA, said in a statement.

But any CBD company with an approved, listed product shouldn’t rest easy just yet. Such approvals are only partial and further rounds of scrutiny are expected. The first full authorizations are not expected until 2023.

“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 not yet been fully assessed for safety,” Miles continued.

“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.”

The announcement was largely welcomed by leading figures of the UK’s CBD industry. In a statement, Steve Moore, founder of the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), said the following in a statement:

“The FSA public list represents a major milestone for the UK’s CBD category. 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.”

Phillip Glyn, commercial director of Vitality CBD – a company that successfully entered its CBD products into the FSA’s list – remarked in a statement that:

“After 18 months of work and investment, Vitality CBD is delighted and proud to be included on the Novel Food Public List. It is an important milestone for the Company and will add further credibility to being one of the most trusted CBD brands in the UK.”


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