The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has set a deadline for businesses selling cannabidiol (CBD) products to provide more information about the remedies and their contents, meaning that after 31 March 2021 only products which have submitted a valid application to the authorities will be allowed to remain on the market.

In mid-February 2020, the FSA confirmed that it has given the CBD industry a deadline of 31 March 2021 to submit valid novel food authorisation applications in order to continue selling such products.

After 31 March 2021, only products which have submitted a valid application will be allowed to remain on the market.

The authorisation process is aimed at ensuring that novel foods meet legal standards, including on safety and content.

Local authorities enforce novel food legislation in the UK and councils have been advised that businesses should be able to sell their existing CBD products during this time provided they:

  • are not incorrectly labelled

  • are not unsafe to eat

  • do not contain substances that fall under drugs legislation.

In addition, the FSA has advised those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication not to consume CBD products.

Healthy adults have also been advised to think carefully before taking CBD, and the FSA recommends no more than 70mg a day (about 28 drops of 5% CBD) unless under medical direction.

Commenting on the deadline and advice, Emily Miles, Chief Executive of the FSA, said, “CBD products are widely available on the high street but are not properly authorised. The CBD industry must provide more information about the safety and contents of these products to the regulator before 31 March 2021, or the products will be taken off the shelves.

“Also today, we are advising that CBD could be risky for vulnerable groups, and suggesting an upper limit of 70mg a day for everyone else taking the product.”

Last reviewed 14 February 2020