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Is the future bright for CBD?



Recent developments have helped further legitimise the CBD industry

With the recent UN rescheduling of cannabis, many in the industry are rejoicing. But concerns have been raised that there are still too many grey areas in the CBD sector. Cannabis Health spoke to the owner of one brand to hear his thoughts.

Earlier this month, the United Nations (UN) voted to remove cannabis from its list of serious narcotics and recognise its medicinal benefits, in what was described as a historic moment for the industry.

And while non-medical CBD had remained out of the scope of the Single Convention, earlier this year the European Court of Justice also concluded that CBD should not be considered a drug and can be qualified as a novel food.

Neurologist and medical cannabis expert Professor Mike Barnes told Cannabis Health that it was a sign that the world was waking up to the potential of cannabis.

“This is really exciting news for the global cannabis industry,” he said.

“This vote finally recognises the medicinal value of cannabis.”

However, those in the retail side of the industry still have their concerns that CBD still occupies something of a grey area between medicine, drug and foodstuff.

Tristan Adlington (pictured) of online retailer Pothead Coffee, said: “While it may not appear to be in a grey area to some, it is when it comes to operating a business.

“While CBD may now be available freely and easy – even on the high street – companies do not have access to the same financial or advertising instruments as companies in other industries due to the lack of regulation.

“This lack of regulation means it is harder to insure CBD companies, and therefore it is harder to find bank accounts and payment processors who support them.

“My fear is that this set of circumstances attracts the wrong type of businesses – more short-term, opportunistic businesses, rather than long-term players who naturally demand a stable, clear regulatory framework to operate within.”

And while Tristan agrees there needs to be some form of regulation, he argues that a distinction must be drawn between varieties, based on their uses.

He added: “The whole situation is a regulator’s nightmare, but they need to catch up fast to get a handle on it. Luckily, we have the US and Canada to look at and learn from.

“Ultimately, I’d like to see hemp treated as more of an agriculture or food product, and then cannabis treated differently; recreationally available to responsible adults, but like other intoxicants, regulated to some extent.”

And no discussion of the future would be complete without mention of Brexit – an event that Tristan feels will bring opportunities to the CBD market.

He said: “I think there will be an initial bumpy ride, affecting logistics and such to begin with, particularly for small businesses who import hemp products – but this will hopefully resolve fairly quickly.

“Beyond this I see Brexit as more of an opportunity. In fact, I think the opportunity for the UK to take the lead on cannabis regulation in the EU could be the silver lining of Brexit.

“The UK is already one of the largest exporters of medicinal cannabis – but I would like to see more licenses and even more farms growing hemp.”

“There are some great companies, bodies and influencers leading the way, creating a vibrant new subculture in the UK – not just about cannabis, but wellness, conscious consumerism and the environment,” he added.

“This is what I hope to witness on the back of 2020 – a message from the UK government that they too have identified this opportunity and are actively exploring it.”


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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