UK deadline for CBD approvals nears

CBD edibles in the United Kingdom could be ripped from shelves unless manufacturers submit product-safety applications by Wednesday.

Starting April 1, no CBD product on the U.K. market will be allowed to stay there without validation by food-safety authorities.

The Food Standards Agency in London moved to stop the sale of unauthorized CBD foods in 2020, when it said that CBD products already on the market would have until March 31, 2021, to submit a validated novel food authorization application.

European Union regulators determined that CBD needed premarket novel food authorization in 2019.

Because the ingredient wasn’t commonly eaten in Europe before 1997, the European Commission placed cannabidiol in the category of “novel foods,” meaning safety studies and toxicology data were required before it could be sold to consumers.

Despite the Commission’s pronouncement, CBD brands have proliferated in stores and on retail websites in Europe and around the world, and the U.K. is the first country to set a deadline to remove nonauthorized CBD products from the shelves.

The Brightfield Group estimates there are around 400 players on the U.K. market, but just how many will be left standing after the FSA deadline remains unclear.