The EU CBD Market is projected to reach €13.6 billion by 2025 – but classing it as a narcotic could have huge implications, say experts.
Researchers behind a report into the European CBD market, released earlier this year, have said that the implications of the European Commission (EC) considering CBD a narcotic could not be ‘overstated’.
In the latest volume of its European CBD consumer series, New Frontier Data surveyed thousands of CBD users in 17 countries across the continent, to taste of the market.
Annual spending on CBD in the EU is expected to total an estimated €8.3 billion by the end of 2020, with the highest annual spending in Germany at an estimated €1.83 billion.
The report projects the EU CBD market will grow to reach €13.6 billion by 2020 – but only without regulatory changes.
In July 2020 the European Commission (EC) suspended applications for CBD to be included in its Novel Food Catalogue, stating the cannabinoid and other extracts from hemp flowers would be better regulated as narcotics under the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
No final decisions have been made, but if it goes ahead the ruling would not only make it ‘impossible for the market to exist in its current form’, but also limit cannabinoid research and innovation throughout the continent, the report argues.
Researchers warned that the increasing demand for CBD coupled with the fact that most sales take place online, could create an unregulated ‘grey market’ and a risk of contaminated or low-quality products, improper labeling, and unfounded marketing claims flooding the market and potentially ‘endangering public health’.
A spokesperson for New Frontier Data explained: “After first deciding CBD should be classified as a novel food in the EU, the EC is now considering whether CBD is a narcotic, citing the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
“Synthetically derived CBD would still qualify for novel food status as the UN convention only bans cannabinoids harvested from the flowering tops of the cannabis plant.
At the same time, the report noted that thanks to Brexit, the future looks brighter for UK producers, as the Food Standards Agency will continue to consider CBD as novel foods.
They continued: “The UK seems to be clearing a regulatory pathway for CBD products as it drifts out of the EC’s jurisdiction, as the UK Home Office has explicitly stated that CBD is not a narcotic, and CBD is now under the jurisdiction of the UK Food Standards Agency.”
New Frontier founder and CEO Giadha DeCarcer added that the EC decision would lead to objections from producers and may ramp up pressure on the UN to reclassify cannabis, which could have a significant impact beyond CBD.
“Despite existing regulatory hurdles, demand for CBD in Europe continues to grow quickly as consumers embrace this cannabinoid for medical and general wellness, creating opportunities for large food and beverage and health and beauty brands,” she commented.
“This provisionary conclusion will likely trigger objections and may increase pressure to amend the UN Single Convention to remove cannabis from its prohibited classification.
“That would have implications far beyond extracts, potentially reshaping the future of higher-THC cannabis in Europe.”
- 3 main contributors to the entourage effect for cannabis consumers to consider
- Medical cannabis doesn’t impair cognitive function – study
- Ukraine’s medical cannabis legalisation delayed by opponents
- Cannabis more ‘advantageous’ than conventional sleep aids
- Four20 Medical Cannabis Products Launched in the UK via Rokshaw
- The potential of Medical Cannabis in diabetes management
- News4 months ago
NHS approves major clinical trial on cannabis medicines and chronic pain
- News6 months ago
UK patient secures first NHS reimbursement for cannabis flowers
- Advocacy6 months ago
Inside a UK cannabis club: changing lives, tackling stigma, building community
- News4 months ago
UK research finds GP support for cannabis as an alternative to opioids for chronic pain
- Industry4 months ago
‘Landmark’ ruling gives hope for UK CBD flower businesses
- Industry6 months ago
New report calls for overhaul of ‘discriminatory’ UK cannabis driving laws
- News4 months ago
Malta: Advocates emphasise positive effects of cannabis reform amid ‘normalisation’ concerns
- Science6 months ago
Medicinal cannabis ‘life-changing’ for Tourette syndrome – study