The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) has proposed a three-tier regulatory framework for products containing CBD, noting the current “tenuous patchwork” of rules covering CBD and hemp extracts in the European Union put in peril the CBD food supplements market.
“Europe should not miss this chance for consumer health and well-being and industrial growth in agriculture and the food industry,” EIHA said in a release.
EIHA recently criticized “a few pharmaceutical companies” for leading a fight for legislation that would make CBD a prescription-only drug, on the heels of recent developments in Germany and the United Kingdom.
EIHA proposed CBD be considered according to the following guidelines:
– At high doses, CBD-laced products should be considered a medicinal product and should be regulated as such.
– At medium doses, CBD products should be regarded as an over-the-counter product or a food supplement, similar to rules governing substances such as valerian, glucosamine, chondroitin (sulfate), Ginkgo Biloba, some vitamins and iron products.
– Low CBD concentrations and doses should be allowed in food products without any restrictions.
Some EU states have already published regulations governing CBD and hemp extracts. Some countries limit the use of CBD only to medical applications; others allow the use of hemp extracts in food supplements. Most member states have just started to discuss national regulations, EIHA noted.
Member state approaches
In some member states CBD-containing extracts are sold to end consumers as a food supplement, but in most member states this is not the case, EIHA pointed out. The British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is seriously discussing a three-tier regulation after two meetings with EIHA representatives. EIHA is also in contact with the German authorities, while in Austria, discussion on legislation just started, according to the Association.
“It also should be highlighted that internationally, we see very rational and CBD-friendly regulation being implemented, for example in the US, in South America and soon in Canada,” EIHA said, and “strongly urged” authorities to ensure a level playing-field for the Euro hemp industry through greater regulatory clarity.
“Reasonable and harmonized legislation on CBD and hemp extracts in Europe and in all member states (can) make sure consumers are protected, and help to sustain the industry’s current double-digit growth rate, attract new investors and to boost product development, EIHA said.