As this is being written, CBD is undoubtedly the most popular supplement in Europe. CBD isn’t psychoactive and its products do not contain THC - the psychoactive cannabinoid. In 2016 the MHRA re-classified CBD in the UK as a new medicinal ingredient giving legal access to these products.
Many business owners talk about how the MHRA’s current regulation of CBD is too strict and pushes small suppliers and start-ups out of the industry. The application to register CBD products as “traditional herbal remedies” costs £100,000 in the UK. Regulations are always changing - posing further risks even after a product has been registered. Despite these hurdles that inevitably have slowed CBD’s growth down, the CBD market has exploded in most of Europe and proper regulation is needed.
Brexit has brought a great deal of confusion to the nation. One thing’s for certain - Brexit can provide an opportunity to unleash the CBD market in the UK. In this European Cannabis Report, even a No-Deal Brexit won’t threaten “the sustained development of the legal cannabis market in Britain. Indeed, there’s a strong chance that Brexit could super-charge the growing industry; Blair Gibbs, Policy Lead at the CMC, said at the CBD Europe Expo last Friday that: “Brexit gives us a chance to diverge and gain a competitive edge”. He pointed to Switzerland as a good example of the benefits of a regulated CBD market that allows passionate cannabis business owners to participate.
We are big fans of regulation - it’s important for the consumer to have this taken care of before a product is purchased. However, the government needs to be wary of regulating out of a flourishing market. Looking at the USA who are years ahead of the European CBD market, CBD has immense potential.
Industry leaders in the UK are just as uncertain about regulation as consumers. Investors, who are looking to support CBD start-ups are undoubtedly nervous about the future. Fortunately the general opinion is that the CBD industry will be one of the sectors likely to “emerge unscathed from the Brexit drama”.
It’s reassuring that the general feeling is that the CBD industry is only going to continue to rocket. Expos are popping up all over the country offering products such as vapes, gummies, moisturisers, muscle balms, lozenges and bath bombs. The CBD industry is catering for every consumer.
This industry is arguably the most exciting prospect for the British economy post Brexit. It’s an example of how a lightly regulated free market can provide choice to customers and improve living standards for many. Let’s hope that lawmakers go soft on regulation to allow CBD to boom.