Following California, Spain also declares CBD illegal to sell for human consumption until it will properly register the molecule as a food supplement… Other EU countries are considering their actions.
Is CBD illegal? EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), the European agency responsible for regulating all what has to do with food (among other things, food supplements) has issued a statement
regarding the legality of CBD. According to EFSA, until the European Union regulates CBD, it is illegal to use it as a food supplement. Therefor, effective immediately, it is prohibited to distribute all food supplements containing CBD.
EFSA has informed all the member countries of the European Union through its corresponding agency in Spain, AECOSAN (Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition), the immobilization of all the products qualified as FOOD SUPPLEMENTS containing CBD.
AECOSAN, through the Health Ministries of the different Autonomous Communities, has informed the companies in charge of their production or distribution that they are paralyzed until Europe regulates them.
In short, the affected companies in Spain should communicate the withdrawal of these products from all the businesses where their sale is offered as a food supplement. In this sense, EFSA bases its decision on the qualification of the CBD as “new food” without any regulation.
So, is CBD illegal? We must remember that CBD is a non-audited product, that is, it is NOT ILLEGAL, but effective immediately, it is also not legal to use as food supplement.
Until CBD is on the list, it is illegal to sell for human consumption, and, therefore, it is banned until the Spanish wake up from their siestas and put it on the list.
Let’s dive into CBD regulations
, to understand the true meaning of this announcement, how big pharma
companies are involved, if at all and is CBD illegal in Spain?.
The CBD molecule in crystalline form (99% purity) is first and foremost regarded in Spain and most legal hemp countries as a cosmetic product, “for external use only”. That is the default definition of use in majority member states of Europe.
“For external use only” (ie; cosmetic dermal creams and balms) is one of the labeling requirements needed on a CBD product to be registered legally and sold in Spain. It is illegal to sell it for human consumption, but only as a “technical product”. The meaning of that, be creative.
These problems stem from a lack of legal definition of cannabis-derived products, giving rise to interpretations that do not match the legal position. In this context, products containing CBD are marketed as food supplements. However, under Spanish law, food supplements can only include vitamins or minerals, not plants.
In SPAIN, CBD
has not yet been
registered as a food supplement in the “authorized food supplement list”
of the Spanish drugs and health products agency (AEMPS). It states the vitamins and minerals allowed for human consumption by SPANISH
law, and CBD is not defined in Directive 2002/46 / EC of the European Parliament (transposed into Spanish law by Royal Decree 1487/2009 amending Royal Decree 130/2018).
By application of the principle of mutual acknowledgment, food supplements that contain ingredients other than the vitamins and minerals indicated in the authorized lists may be placed on the Spanish market only in the event that it is verified that the product in question may be placed on the market legally in another European Union Member State. It is not, however, permitted to apply said acknowledgment to products coming from countries that do not belong to the European Union.
Is CBD illegal? Only a few of the majority EU member states, recognize CBD as a nutritional food supplement
Only a few of the majority EU member states, recognize CBD
as a nutritional
food supplement, “for human consumption”.
The Czech Republic was the first to regulate CBD as a food supplement
, today also Germany, Holland, Italy and some others, all with their own local laws and regulation problems
Until more regulations are put in place to ensure safety and Good Practices, CBD will have to wait patiently like any new food product on the market which needs verification of supply. Rest assured there will always be an area of legal maneuvering and description of products to secure free movement of goods from point A-to-B.
According to Miguel Torres, a lawyer and lecturer in International Private Law at the Law School of the University of Barcelona:
“In some countries, plants can be classified as food supplements and the Spanish authorities cannot oppose the marketing of products made with medicinal plants in the EU as food supplements. In this regard, the Court of Justice handed down a categorical ruling in its judgement of 5 March, 2009 on Case C‑88/07 (Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Spain) on the free movement of goods and products classified as medicinal products and products lawfully produced or marketed as food supplements or dietary products in other Member States.”
It sounds very strange knowing that EPIDIOLEX®
, a compound from GW Pharmaceuticals
, was recently accepted the in the Spanish pharmacopoeia
, a drug that is an extract from CBD. So why do we say that they have made it illegal? We say it because it has officially become a reality,
possibly a decision influenced by strong lobby of big pharma
companies with interest, unfortunately for many people.
On a personal note, this ruling is scandalous because it is a complete ethical nonsense!
On the one hand, the WHO made a recommendation strengthening the safety of CBD extracts
, in December of last year and on the other hand they have prohibited its use as a food supplement.
Rest assured, there will always be a legal pathway of maneuvering and description to get products out there from point A-to-B.
Contact us to learn more about European CBD regulations.
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