The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) announced that it has won. “An unprecedented victory in the discussion on the generally permitted trade and sale of products containing CBD”.

The German Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) are indeed following the EIHA’s position that “foodstuffs containing parts of the hemp plant are in principle not ‘novel’ foods in the sense of the EU regulations.

The development is important to inform European stakeholders and clarify the rules concerning hemp extracts, including CBD, in European food.

CBD as food

Thus, food products made from traditional hemp or extracts and containing the full natural spectrum of cannabinoids in the hemp plant are not novel foods. Said EIHA President Daniel Kruse on the approval of the BMEL. For the German hemp food industry, this declaration by the government and the ministry is an important step.

EIHA stated that it remains to be seen whether another German agency. The Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) will amend and correct a previous publication on CBD which. According to EIHA and German stakeholders, is incorrect.

The controversy stems from a BVL publication on “Food supplements with cannabidiol (CBD)” of March 2019, stating that the agency was “currently not aware of any cases in which CBD could be found in foodstuffs. I.e. also in food supplements.

The BVL assessment considered that all hemp-based foods should, therefore, be subject to Novel Food. A European food safety regime that requires a costly and time-consuming registration process.

EIHA’s position is that leaves and flowers from industrial hemp are not Novel Food . And should be regulated as simple foods or food supplements. Also, extracts from hemp grown legally in Europe and produced using traditional extraction technologies should not be a Novel Food.

The BVL must differentiate between extracts with the full natural spectrum of cannabinoids contained in the hemp plant on the one hand and products enriched with isolates or cannabinoids on the other hand. Otherwise, there will be even more uncertainty for the food industry and consumers of hemp in Germany,” said EIHA.

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