According to several reports we can easily prove that distillation was taking place at least 3000 years ago. Which causes us an issue. The process is clearly not Novel in any way, we’ve almost certainly been distilling cannabis extracts for many years, but a lack of complete historical data with respect to foods is sadly lacking. These days it’s not unusual to see “distillates” on the market that are well over 85% which as mentioned before is where CBD will naturally crystallise. The normal way of stabilising these is to add an antioxidant to the distillate, but it’s been proven that adding a relatively small amount of MCT can sometimes achieve this, we’ve also seen (and continue to see) distillates that are actually isolates which have been mixed back to a very viscous liquid, without access to UHPLC its almost impossible to tell. It’s fair to say however that most of these products over 85% are unarguably Novel. So, they too would be prohibited for sale. We as the CTA don’t actually argue this position, for a couple of reasons, firstly, we simply couldn’t make these 10 years ago, let alone 22 and secondly the lack of data on how many of these products are actually manufactured. There are a number of Novel applications with EFSA at present, let’s wait for the outcome of these applications until we make a decision. Until this time isolates and indeed anything over 85% in CBD concentration should and will remain off the list from which products can be made. Let’s face it, we all know that full or broad spectrum is far more natural and far more effective. Let us as an industry start ensuring we are compliant when it comes to our products.
Having spoken to 14 food authorities face to face and of course all 28 in the Working Groups, we’re sure that there is a way forward, the UK FSA are insisting of course that the only way to deal with Novel Foods is to submit an application. Of course, if you are prepared to shut down your business for at least a year (and more likely 2-3) then you could do so. But the CTA has been working with the group for so long now that we’ve been offered a simpler, easier route, which is underway now (keep an eye out for an announcement late in August). It revolves of course around compliance and is being presented to all the relevant authorities across Europe, so now more than ever its important that we, as the voice of the industry in Europe can show that you are compliant. We’re sure the solution we’ve been given and are pursuing will result in not having to go through a Novel Application (remember you can’t even submit one in the UK at present until Brexit is dealt with and ultimately ensure that enforcement action (which is going to start happening) can be stopped effectively. Indeed, the CTA has prevented 8 “stop” notices in the UK being enforced against, and most Trading Standards officers now contact the CTA before considering this course of action. If that fails, of course, we have the best legal teams in Europe working on our behalf, Robert Jappie of Mackrell Turner and Aymen Khoury of Field Fisher. No one else can claim to have such specialists on board as part of their team, making us eminently better represented with a total of 90 countries, 200 offices and over 10,000 lawyers, barristers and associates at ours and our Members disposal.