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CBD sales in the UK have grown at such a rate that there are now over 1,000 UK brands. 5 years ago, there were less than a dozen as the original CBD companies like Love Hemp, Cannabidol and Charlotte's Web became million-dollar companies. Love Hemp recently sold to an American company for over £9m. This just go to show how the CBD industry has grown.
Because the government never really anticipated how much the CBD industry would grow, and how so many people would eventually swap from pharmaceuticals to this new "alternative" natural plant compound, something was bound to change. The lost revenue to these large Pharamceutical companies was never going to be popular and the clock began ticking.
In Feb this year (2020), the Food Standards Agency (FSA) released a statement saying that as from 31 March 2021, all CBD can only be sold by companies that hold a "Novel Food" license. Costing an approx £250k, this is a clear attempt to kill off the smaller CBD companies and force anyone selling CBD to have to purchase it from a monopoly of large CBD manufacturers. The government (via the FSA) will control who can (and can't) attain a "Novel Food License". Not only that, the FSA can also charge whatever it wants for annual renewals of the NF license if it decided it wanted to.
The new NF regulations are welcomed in some respect as hopefully it will remove the "snake oil" untested, fake %, potentially dangerous CBD oil sellers but it will also affect genuine, honest compliant companies.
Many trade bodies like the Cannabis Trades Association (CTA), have argued that CBD full plant extract should never have been classified as "novel" as it had been around for thousands of years. It now looks likely that their fight is over and it's time to hang up those gloves.
The CBD industry future is very uncertain for so many decent companies now and the next 12 months will either make or break most of them.
To be continued.