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The Association for the Cannabinoid Industry has said that the Food Standards Agency has updated the criteria for CBD products which can remain on sale from 1 April 2021.

Previously, only products which were on sale at the time of the FSA’s announcement (13 February 2020) and were linked to an application which had been validated by 31 March 2021 were to be included.

To maximise the opportunity to pass validation, this now includes all products on sale on 13 February 2020 and linked to an application submitted before 31 March 2021 that is subsequently validated.

All applications must be submitted by March 31, however.

This is an update to the previous stance that all products must be validated by that date. The FSA reiterates that these products must have been on the market prior to February 13 and be linked to a validated dossier.

The FSA will also publish a list of products linked to validated applications in April, with regular updates to this list as and when dossiers are validated.

Products that have not met the full requirements, but have satisfied the FSA that they will do so, will be listed providing that they include “robust plans” to complete the risk assessment process in their submission.

Meanwhile, the ACI is seeking clarity from the FSA that these companies will continue to be allowed to sell their products.

A list of products linked to validated applications will be published on the FSA’s website in April and regularly updated.

The FSA will also publish a list of products associated with applications which have not yet fully met the legal requirements to be validated but have set out sufficiently robust plans to prove they are fully committed to delivering the remaining information required.

This will include evidence of plans to complete the risk assessment process, with a clear deadline for submission of the outstanding information.

The new update from the FSA means the deadline is now for submission by March 31 and not validation. “If you have not yet submitted your dossier, due to time constraints in regards to having your dossier validated before March 31 2021, you should look to submit your dossier as soon as possible,” ACI said.

In its latest update, the FSA said CBD businesses should continue to submit their novel food applications before the 31 March 2021 deadline.

Emily Miles, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, said: “Applying for novel food authorisation is the only way CBD products can remain on sale here. For the past year, we’ve been encouraging all businesses to submit good quality applications as a matter of urgency.

“However, we have received a large number of applications close to the deadline. This means that, in order to process these properly, we are adapting the criteria of products allowed to remain on sale from 1 April.

“For some time now we’ve been supporting a pragmatic and proportionate approach to CBD regulation. Our commitment to ensuring that consumers know these products are being checked for safety remains firm.”

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