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Love Hemp, Trip, Oto, Cannacoffee and Strangeways are among the brands on the FSA’s new list of CBD goods linked to novel food applications.

The online directory, released yesterday (31 March), comprises products that have made a credible application to the FSA for novel food authorisation in England and Wales – and are therefore allowed to remain on shelf until such a time as the agency makes a final decision.

No CBD food, drink or supplement had yet been authorised for sale, it stressed. Those whose applications are denied will be required to be withdrawn from the market.

The FSA has advised local authorities to encourage suppliers whose offers are not on the public list to voluntarily pull them off shelves or risk censure by Trading Standards.

Products designed to be inhaled, such as vapes, or applied to the skin, including cosmetics and massage oils, do not fall under the FSA’s remit and do not need novel food status.

The new list marked the FSA’s “next step in our pragmatic approach to making sure CBD products are safe and what they say they are” said CEO Emily Miles. “We have created the public list to help local authorities and retailers prioritise products to be removed from sale. If a product is not on the list, it should be removed from sale because it is not attached to a credible application to us for market authorisation.

“But being on the list means that the application is credible and the FSA has, or is shortly expecting to receive, significant scientific evidence from the applicant with which to judge safety.”

Miles went on to emphasise that the agency was “not endorsing products on the public list, and inclusion on the list is no guarantee that they will be authorised as they have not yet been fully assessed for safety. But we have taken the step of publishing the list so that local authorities, retailers and consumers can make informed judgments about what they stock and buy, as we gradually bring this growing market into compliance with the law.”

Adam Pritchard, CCO of Love Hemp, said: “We note the latest update from the FSA and are delighted with the results. The CBD industry in the UK has been largely unregulated, resulting in a lack of clarity for our consumers, and we welcome progress made to date by the FSA.”

Similarly, Oto founder & creative director Gemma Colao said the brand was “enthusiastic about the opportunities it will bring to us. We are confident this regulation will provide stronger trust and reassurance to people who want to discover our range of products.”

The UK’s market for consumer CBD products was worth £690m in 2021, according to estimates by the Association of the Cannabinoid Industry – more than double the level recorded in 2019 – making the UK the world’s second-largest market for consumer CBD after the US.

The FSA’s online directory represented “a major milestone for the UK’s CBD category” said ACI founder Steve Moore. It demonstrated “the progress the sector has made to meet compliance requirements and creates greater regulatory certainty which, in turn, will increase levels of consumer trust, encourage investment in the sector, and promote innovation” he added.

The ACI is working in tandem with Trading Standards to enforce the novel food regulations. Businesses selling CBD products – including supermarkets, convenience stores, health food shops, pharmacies, online retailers, cafés and restaurants – have been urged to check their current stock against the list to ensure they are compliant.