The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has added a further 2,500 CBD products to the register of products allowed to remain on the market for the time being.
This brings the total number of ingestible CBD products permitted for sale in England and Wales to 5,946 pending full market authorisation, while 35 have been removed.
The news comes as several brands and manufacturers contacted the food safety regulator upon realising their products had been omitted from the original list published on 31 March.
FSA says that while a small number of admin errors occurred, the need for the late additions arose out of a failure on the part of some CBD businesses, who didn’t supply the required documentation to the regulator before the 31 March deadline.
A second update will be carried out in June. A spokesperson for FSA has doubled down on whether there would be any further additions to the list saying, after 30 June no new products will be added. Only those who appear on the list will take the next steps towards full market authorisation.
After this point, ‘the only changes will be to reflect the status of the products in our novel foods authorisation process.’
Announcing the completion of the first update, Rebecca Sudworth, Director of Policy, FSA said
“Compiling the public list has been a huge undertaking. Most additions to the public list are because businesses did not supply us with the correct information before March 31. We apologise for the small number of omissions from the original list that were the result of clerical errors. These products have now been added.”
The food safety authority is now calling on all CBD businesses not on the list, who are believed to be linked to a credible novel foods application submitted before 31 March 2021, to come forward with the required evidence before 26 May.
Ms Sudworth added:
“We are urging any CBD businesses with evidence they have that links their products to credible applications to send it to us as soon as possible, but no later than 26 May 2022 for consideration.
“We will not be accepting evidence for products to be included on the public list after this date. Businesses that wish to supply evidence for their products for possible inclusion on the public list can also provide evidence of studies they have commissioned, for example toxicological studies.
“These can have been commissioned either before or after the deadline for applications in March 2021, and the evidence of commissioning must be submitted before 26 May.”
Local authorities and retailers are invited to contact FSA if necessary to clarify the status of a product not on the list. There is also the free and easy to use online resource, UKCBDList.com, created by the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), for retailers and consumers to check if the products in their possession are allowed to be sold.
The ACI consortium was successful in securing positions on the list when it was first published in March, with 100% of members achieving listed status.
CBD brands or manufacturers who did not submit a novel foods application prior to 31 March 2021, and did not have products on the market prior to 13 February 2020, must submit a novel foods application to FSA. However, these will not be featured on the list until full market authorisation has been granted.
An FSA spokesperson said:
“We are continuing to accept other CBD novel food applications, but products connected to these applications should not be put on sale until they have completed the safety assessment process and secured authorisation – which is normal for a food that is genuinely novel to the UK diet.”