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Clearing the Haze: Unravelling the Legality of CBD in the UK – A Solicitor’s Guide

Clearing the Haze: Unravelling the Legality of CBD in the UK – A Solicitor’s Guide

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Clearing the Haze: Unraveling the Legality of CBD in the UK – A Solicitor’s Guide”

In the swirling cloud of misinformation and conjecture, understanding the legal nuances of Cannabidiol (CBD) products in the United Kingdom can seem as elusive as nailing jelly to a wall. Let’s cut through the noise and unravel the truths of the legality of CBD from a solicitor’s perspective, as it stands until September 2021.

CBD is one of many compounds derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, distinct in its non-psychoactive properties. The crux of CBD’s legality in the UK hinges upon specific conditions surrounding its production, distribution, and consumption.

An essential determinant is the content of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – a psychoactive compound in Cannabis – present in the CBD products. As a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the threshold for THC content in any CBD product sold in the UK is less than 1mg per product, not per container, irrespective of size. This is in line with the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Additionally, CBD’s legal landscape in the UK has been shaped by the Novel Food Regulation inherited from the European Union, which continues to apply post-Brexit. This regulation terms any food not widely consumed by people in the EU before 15 May 1997 as ‘Novel Food’. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK expects all CBD businesses to acquire Novel Food Authorisation for their products. Any product without this authorisation after the deadline (31 March 2021) was expected to be off the market.

At the time of my last update, no significant court cases directly engaged with CBD legality in the UK. However, potential challenges and rulings may influence CBD law, particularly in relation to broader Cannabis laws in the UK. One case worth following is the ongoing judicial review challenge initiated by several families against the NHS and NICE guidelines concerning the prescription of medicinal cannabis. While it directly addresses medicinal cannabis prescription, its outcome could indirectly influence the status and perception of CBD in the UK.

The shifting sands of CBD’s legal status in the UK necessitate constant vigilance. Laws and regulations can and do change, and there may have been changes since my last update in September 2021. When in doubt, consult a legal expert or conduct rigorous research to ensure your dealings with CBD are entirely within the bounds of the law.

Remember, the information herein is intended to inform and should not be viewed as a substitute for tailored legal advice from a qualified professional. Keep a keen eye on this fascinating legal landscape as it evolves, and stay on the right side of the law with your CBD activities.

As always, stay safe, stay informed, and stay on the right side of the law.




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