The Cannabinoïden Adviesbureau Nederland (CAN) endorses the importance of developing unambiguous legislation and quality standards for CBD products. The CAN wants to ensure that consumers can buy safe CBD products and wants these items to comply with an industry-standard based on EU guidelines. As such, they have designed a certification of quality to help with the lack of CBD regulation.
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of CBD, a new industry for CBD products in Europe has emerged in recent years. However, there is a lack of proper regulation and quality control for consumers.
The Cannabinoïden Adviesbureau Nederland (Cannabinoids Consultancy Netherlands,) or CAN for short, is changing this. Last week CAN representatives presented the first certification mark for CBD products in Europe.
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CBD products in Europe continue to grow in popularity
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a component in industrial hemp and cannabis plants. 10 years ago, most people had never heard about it. Now, according to the CAN, between 40 and 45 adults consume CBD products in Europe every day.
More and more people are discovering the broad therapeutic effects of this compound and because CBD products do not contain THC, you do not get high from it.
The end of this growing popularity seems far from over. More and more people are consuming CBD products in Europe and more companies are producing CBD-based products. According to a survey by Brightfield Group, the European CBD market will grow by 400% to no less than $1.66 billion (€1.5 billion) in the coming years.
High time for quality control
One would expect policies to be developed at both the national and international levels to manage this enormous popularity. However, that is not the case, nor is anyone currently supervising the industry.
As a result, all kinds of unnecessary uncertainties regarding quality remain. Moreover, there is a threat of a total halt on CBD products at the European level by means of the Novel Food catalog. As such, it is high time for a quality mark to steer CBD products in Europe in the right direction.
The CAN, an initiative of drug policy advisor August de Loor, set to work on such a label. After months of preparation, fine-tuning and trial runs, the CAN hallmark was presented in StartDock in Amsterdam on Jan. 15, 2020.
Amending the Opium Act
The aim of the label is to achieve a quality standard for the production and sale of CBD products in Europe and other cannabinoids and terpenes of natural origin. In addition, the consultancy wants to create a legal basis for these products and promote expertise throughout the entire chain.
To this end, the CAN has proposed two amendments to the Opium Act: a definition of hemp oil so that CBD is no longer included and the allowance of hemp fiber for the production of CBD products in Europe.
At the moment, the Opium Act still prohibits the extraction of CBD from cannabis plants. Cannabis may be grown in the Netherlands but only for industrial purposes. CBD is therefore now extracted from plants outside the Netherlands like in Germany and Romania where it is permitted.
For better quality control of CBD products in Europe, it is good if production could also take place in the Netherlands.
CAN provides guidelines for CBD products in Europe
CAN also wants CBD products in Europe to comply with an industry-standard based on EU guidelines for food supplements and a production process that is fully traceable. In addition, the data of each connected product is made available to consumers through a separate website.
Roni Furlan of Novatrace gave a presentation about this during the launch where he spoke about the blockchain technology used. This means that the entire chain, from seed to end product, is transparent.
Novatrace will use new technologies to manage the CBD chain in order to provide information to stakeholders. Ultimately, data of all approved CBD products in Europe can be retrieved through a website which is a hard requirement to qualify for a CAN quality mark.
Four laboratories have also been selected that meet the requirements of CAN which means CBD products in Europe will be analyzed before obtaining the quality mark. There will probably be more laboratories in the future.
In addition, offenses and fraudulent practices are punishable by a fine of $10,000 (€9,000.) Plus an additional fine of $10,000 (€9,000) for each day that the offense continues.
Initial reactions to the CAN certification
Some producers and sellers have already applied for the label and the first positive reactions have also been received from Europe. For the time being, it’s hard to conclude that this is a good step forward.
With the certification, the CAN shows consumers, governments and care providers that CBD products in Europe can be of good and reliable quality.
The first CBD products in Europe with CAN-labelled brands will be launched on the market in 2020.
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