People are panic buying CBD-infused drinks after the Food Standards Agency ruled they should be removed from shops as the EU re-classified the products as ‘novel’, a drinks maker has warned.

Original article in The Metro can be found here

Companies which sell the CBD products in the UK claim they have seen demand rocket as customers bulk buy in case they are taken off the shelves as a result of the FSA ruling. In the last year, new CBD-infused food and drink items – including sweets, cakes, vapes and even products for pets – have been released as the popularity of cannibidiol, which comes from the hemp plant, grows.

But in January, the FSA announced it would be taking a firmer stance on CBD foods and supplements, working with local authorities to remove ingestible products from the market that have not undergone a pre-market safety assessment.

The head of Green Monkey, the first carbonated CBD drink in the UK, claims he has seen online orders shoot up by over 8000% in the last week and believes it is because customers are stocking up. Green Monkey Drinks CEO, Serge Davies, told Metro.co.uk: ‘The recent news articles about the FSA’s change in regulations has seen demand shoot through the roof. ‘We are the biggest company in the market place, have invested heavily in the science behind the drinks, advertising what we are all about, educating people as we go and building a team – and we are waiting for the FSA to let us know what is going on.

‘CBD is perfectly safe, the World Health Organisation have this week said that themselves, so the lack of information from the FSA is quite disappointing. ‘We need direction from them in order to stop people panicking and so that we can continue to build our brand.’ The FSA ruled there were no health benefits to CBD oil.

He added: ‘From our perspective, the FSA’s regulatory change does not affect the operational ability, or legal status, of Green Monkey CBD’s business and we will continue to produce, distribute and sell the range of Green Monkey CBD products in the UK and abroad. ‘It is ultimately the prerogative of the FSA to interpret this change in whichever manner they see appropriate and thus far, we have opened a very proportional and constructive on-going dialogue with them with regards to the best route to direct the industry towards.’

Cannabis based companies have been lobbying the FSA to make their decision about banning the products as quickly as possible. An FSA spokesperson said: ‘There has been a recent change to the EU Novel Food Catalogue which affects some cannabidiol (CBD) products. ‘Food businesses have not been able to show there was a significant history of consumption of these products in food and food supplements prior to May 1997 in the EU. ‘Under the Novel Food Regulations foods or food ingredients which do not have a history of consumption need to be evaluated and authorised before they are permitted to be placed on the market.’

‘We are considering the way forward in light of this clarification at EU level,’ the spokesperson said. ‘We are meeting with relevant industry representative bodies, local authorities and other stakeholders to clarify how to achieve compliance in the marketplace in a proportionate manner.’

Founder of wholesaler Whole Hemp, Chris Murray, has also noticed the change of mood in the industry since the FSA intervention. He said: ‘There is a lot of worry in the CBD industry at the moment. I see major concern with suppliers and users alike. ‘Companies have invested a lot into this industry which really will help the economy, the environment and the people. ‘It is terrible users who are benefiting so much from these products are now worried they won’t be able to access them, other than getting a script from the NHS at a huge cost to already stretched budgets.’



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