Another German court halts sale of CBD as food without ‘novel’ authorization

Local authorities acted correctly by not allowing sales of CBD products that don’t have a “novel food” authorization, a German court decided, confirming an earlier ruling.

The “novel food” classification is given by the European Union to products that have not been significantly consumed before 1997.

The Gießen Administrative Court (VG Gießen) said it decided to deny the appeal of a company located in Vogelsbergkreis – a district in Hesse, Germany – that was forced by local authorities to recall its CBD food products and stop selling them.

This is not the first case that a German court has supported the enforcement efforts of local food authorities. The administrative court in Düsseldorf ruled similarly in a court case in September.

According to the Gießen court, CBD food products are not allowed to be sold unless they have a novel food premarketing authorization or the necessary permits to be sold as medicine under prescription.

The court referred to the guidelines of the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL).

To date, no cannabis company has received authorization on a novel food application, which means companies selling CBD products as food in the European Union (EU) market are at risk of enforcement.

But enforcement has been heterogeneous within the EU and even within single countries. In Germany, for instance, various local food authorities might have different enforcement priorities.

The company from Vogelsbergkreis was also required to stop selling a hemp oil with an “inappropriate” THC content, meaning it’s unsuitable for human consumption.

The company is responsible to prove through an approval procedure that the products are harmless, according to the VG Gießen.

The court’s decision isn’t final because the parties have two weeks to appeal.