UK trade group assigns law firm to challenge EU extract ruling

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The UK’s Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) says it has hired London law firm Mackrell Turner Garrett to file a legal challenge against the European Union over the EU’s recent designation of hemp extracts as “novel foods.”

The updated rules require EU producers of hemp extracts – including CBD – to undergo a stringent and costly registration process; the rules guide the EU’s Novel Food Catalogue, a listing of foods that were not commonly eaten in the member states before 1997. The Catalogue is essentially a food safety mechanism.

Novel food can be newly developed, innovative food, food produced using new technologies and production processes, and food traditionally eaten outside the EU.

“Only food products that are enriched with isolated CBD should be considered novel,” CTA chairman Mike Harlington said. “Hemp extracts are not novel and this is the position we have presented for almost two years now. Our position remains unchanged. Our members’ products remain legal, and will not be removed from sale.”

Meanwhile, the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) has led pushback against the new language, with Association representatives coming away hopeful after a recent presentation to the EC’s Standing Committee Working Group on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF).

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