In a recent interview with a national broadcaster, Jasmine Shah, Head of Advice and Support Services at the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), called for “clear, authoritative guidance” from the government on CBD products.
She said it was getting difficult for “a growing number of pharmacists” selling CBD products because the current guidance was “difficult to interpret”.
A statement issued by NPA on Thursday quoted Shah as saying: “In the case of CBD products, pharmacists should take account of current Home Office guidance, although it must be said the current guidance is difficult to interpret.”
“Our advice to pharmacists considering whether to stock CBD products is to ensure they are acting legally and in the best interests of patients – which is the same advice we’d give about all other products sold or supplied in pharmacies,” Shah added.
The statement further said: “We would welcome clear, authoritative guidance that makes it easier for manufacturers, health care professionals, retailers and consumers to make informed choices, keeping everyone on the right side of the law and safe from harm.”
Steve Moore, Strategic Counsel of the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), welcomed Shah’s call for improved regulations.
He said: “Our organisation and existing members are unequivocally committed to achieving Novel Foods status via the Food Standards Agency (FSA) taking us closer to a standardised framework for a legal, safe and regulated cannabinoid industry in the UK.”
Earlier this week the ACI said it had started processing applications on behalf of its 20 CBD manufacturing members towards ‘novel foods’ authorisation, as required by the European Food Safety Authority to have a pre-market safety assessment under the Novel Foods Regulation.
Stating that ACI was created “to help foster a legally compliant, socially responsible and innovative CBD industry”, he urged CBD companies and stakeholders across the UK to sign up to its Quality Charter.
Moore said through the Charter the industry body would introduce of a ‘kitemark’ to display on CBD products which will provide consumers with reassurance that their purchase is meeting the regulations.
“Shoppers should feel confident about the quality of the CBD products on offer in retail – and the fact that they are getting what they pay for,” he added.
The FSA has explained that it “accepts the clarification from the EU that CBD extracts are considered novel foods. We are committed to finding a proportionate way forward by working with local authorities, businesses and consumers to clarify how to achieve compliance in the marketplace in a proportionate manner.”