This week, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced that any CBD-infused food and drink product is classed as a novel food and therefore has to apply for novel food authorisation. Any products that do not apply for this before the 31st March 201, won’t be able to trade in England, Scotland and Wales after this date.
Novel foods are foods which have not been widely consumed by people in the EU before May 1997 and therefore don’t have a ‘history of consumption’. Before a novel food can be legally marketed in the EU, it is required to have a pre-market safety assessment and authorisation.
This is a big development for the nascent CBD and cannabis food category. However, increasing governance of this nature can be expected for a market that is so young. Whilst it means a degree of red tape for business, it provides a real opportunity for brands to establish category leadership as the ability to deal with and adapt to regulation separates the wheat from the chaff in the market.
Any brands that want to find out how to apply for novel food authorisation can find out more at the link below https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/novel-foods