US-based Open Book Extracts is in the process of achieving compliance with novel food regulations as it prepares to make its move on the European market.
The major cannabinoid manufacturer has announced it has joined the European Industrial Hemp Association’s (EIHA) Novel Food Consortium in order to gain novel food approval regarding the distribution of CBD ingredients.
The EIHA Novel Food Consortium, officially launched in June 2020, is the Association’s project aimed at clearing the way for hemp foods and extracts – including CBD – in the UK and European Union member states.
By joining the Consortium established by the EIHA, Open Book Extracts is joining forces with other companies to pursue the safety studies to provide safe and ready access to cannabinoid-based products throughout the UK and EU.
CEO Dave Neundorfer said: “We are witnessing a pivotal moment in history when the global appetite for access to cannabinoids is very high.
“We see this in the US with many recent positive discussions among US congressional officials to pass legislation for federal legalisation of cannabis but also new bills for CBD to be regulated as a dietary supplement.
“We appreciate the EIHA and its members working together to respond to a common challenge by investing in unprecedented studies, and look forward to the EU quickly solidifying their plans to implement a parallel framework where these same studies can be applied.
“We are also pleased to offer our clients the ability to sublicense our membership in the Novel Foods Consortium to bring their premium CBD products to market in the UK and eventually the EU.”
Powered by their cGMP operations in North Carolina and a team of world-class scientists, Open Book Extracts offers one of the largest portfolios of cannabinoid isolates at purity, including CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, and THCV, all at greater than 99 percent purity.
It also produces formulation services and turnkey finished good manufacturing including edibles, softgels, tablets, tinctures, and a full range of topical products.
Neundorfer said: “As Open Book Extracts proceeds down the path to achieve compliance with world-wide regulations, we are positioned to become the leading global supplier of cannabinoids while continuing to maintain 100 percent dedication to premium quality, science-driven consistency, sustainability, transparency, and positive, trustworthy relationships with our clients and community.”
This article originally appeared on www.cannabishealthnews.co.uk
Italy passes decree that could put CBD farmers at risk of jail
Marco Perduca of Associazione Luca Coscioni says the decree puts Italy’s entire supply chain at risk.
Italy has passed a decree that prohibits the cultivation of CBD crops without authorisation from the country’s Ministry of Health.
CBD cultivation has been legal in Italy since 2016 after a unanimous vote in parliament. However, this month the Conference of State and Regions adopted a Ministerial Decree which now prohibits the crop’s cultivation.
Farmers, which until have been allowed to grow crops containing a limit of 0.2 to 0.5 per cent THC, will only be able to cultivate hemp crops unless given authorisation from the Ministry of Health. The ruling mirrors the current law surrounding the cultivation of higher THC cannabis crops for medical purposes.
With CBD available in shops across the country, the move is one in complete contrast to the direction of the rest of Europe, bar France, which recently passed a decree banning the sale of CBD flowers to consumers.
It will also put the entirety of Italy’s CBD supply chain at risk, says president of Italy’s cannabis referendum committee ReferendumCannabis and co-founder of Associazione Luca Coscioni, Marco Perduca.
Speaking to Cannabis Wealth, Perduca commented: “This has always been in the back of the centre right’s mind.
“The Ministerial Decree which is another vehicle to make law – even if it’s more on the administrative rather than and the lawmaking level – in which they re-included plans for reducing CBD under the regular rules set by the text on all drugs.”
“This will imply for those already in the business and the newcomers, to seek a permit from the Ministry of Health, which per se will not be a problem. But why would you have to ask, or re-ask permission for a well-established enterprise, to a ministry that has nothing to do with the oils, soaps and edibles that are produced using some CBD and a very minimal percentage of THC?”
Perduca highlights a debate is set with the president of the Agriculture Committee on the matter.
“It’s an interpretation of the law. It is not opinion-makers that make interpretations of the law – it is a judge. So, if you have the police that come to your shop, or to your house or to your farm and would like to know more on what you are producing or selling, they can confiscate everything and block your activity until further notice.
“This is an additional burden on an already not-working system of justice. It is also a sort of CBD scare that has been launched against in particular shops and entrepreneurs – about 10,000 people that work in 3000 Small and Medium Enterprises which generate around €40m per year.
“It’s an important part of our agricultural economy, and it’s mainly young people that invest in these kinds of enterprises.’
Together with Leonardo Fiorentini, member of Forum Droghe, Perduca stated that the discussion of the decree took place days following the first meeting between the Ministry of Health and the country’s cannabis patient associations to discuss supply requirements.
They stated: “The version in front of the delegates risks canceling, if not sending to jail, the entire cannabis light [CBD] sector in Italy…
“The World Health Organization has repeatedly recommended the exclusion of the properties of CBD from banned substances, some of these were collected by the UN Drugs Commission which in December 2020 canceled cannabis from the IV table of the 1961 Convention with a vote favourable of Italy.
“To insert this submission of production to the rules of 309/90 with a Ministerial Decree, as well as going against common sense, is legally very questionable. Certainly, we need a regulation that clarifies what it can be cultivated and how to guarantee the quantity and quality of therapeutic cannabinoids necessary to guarantee the therapeutic plans of tens of thousands of people: products with a certain threshold of CBD must be treated as drugs, those below as supplements, as is already the case today for many other substances also in other EU states.
“We appeal to the competent Ministers to amend the Decree to art. 1 paragraph 4. If not, we will organize a coordinated response between patients and entrepreneurs to definitively send anti-scientific and ideological measures to the attic.” [translated from Google]
Industrial hemp in Europe driving global market growth
A new report has projected the market to exceed $310m by 2027.
A new report has attributed the growing hemp market in Europe as a driving factor of global growth.
A once under-utilised crop, hemp is now seeing strong growth thanks to the demand for alternative products. Food, drink and personal care products are driving the growth of the industrial hemp market.
A new report from Global Market Insights has highlighted government regulations and policies associated with the legalisation of cultivation, as well as escalating demand for hemp products as a main driver of the market.
The market size was over USD$205m (~£151.09m) in 2020 and is projected in the report to reach $310m by the end of 2027.
Fibre and seeds
Hemp is utilised extensively in the pulp and paper industry as it is a considerably more sustainable crop than wood. This is due due to the fact its does not need bleaching produces more pulp per acre, offers enhanced paper strength, and utilises chemicals that are less toxic compared to wood paper.
The report highlights that government regulations seeking to limit wood harvesting and the associated harmful consequences of wood pulp and paper production, are likely to foster product uptake.
It speculates the segment will see robust growth to attain a valuation of more than $70.5m by 2027.
The hemp seeds segment is slated to surpass a valuation of around $74.5m by 2027 under food and beverages application, due to their wide use in supplements, such as protein powder and meal replacement bars and snacks.
The report has attributed a proliferating industrial hemp market in Europe as well as mounting product application in automotive manufacturing as additional drivers of growth in the global market.
It notes that the Europe industrial hemp market is projected to progress at a CAGR of approximately 5.5 per cent over the forecast period to surpass a valuation of $80.5m.
Growing consumer awareness of the plant’s therapeutic effects has also boosted product demand in recent years, according to the report.
To read the full report please visit: https://www.gminsights.com/roc/3306.
Italy plans hemp production increases: could the UK be next?
Italian officials are planning an increase in hemp and processing centres which could boost fabric or fibre production
Officials in west-central Italy are progressing plans to build a sustainable hemp supply chain model which would help to boost local agriculture.
The town of Roccasecca is located in the Frosinone province in the Lazio region. Officials are preparing the land to be planted with hemp ahead of the growing season. The project is a joint initiative of the city of Roccasecca and Cosilam, the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, consultancy Agricola Happy Hill and municipalities of Ceccano and San Giovanni Incarico.
The project was announced last year as a way of processing poor soil and attracting industry to the region. The Consortium for the Industrial Development of Southern Lazio (Cosilam) conducted a pre-planting analysis and the soil will be assessed after one farming cycle this year.
As well as the production of fibre, hemp plastic, concrete and biofuels, hemp can also be used as a bioaccumulative. It can draw unwanted toxic material out of the soil helping to heal polluted areas.
Nitrogen-fixing plants such as hemp, alfalfa and peas can extract nitrogen from the air for fertilization which then results in higher amounts released into the soil. Soil can be damaged by heavy metals, toxins and pesticides used in farming.
Soil regeneration may help to make the land suitable for farming other crops. Hemp could also contribute to the carbon targets set by European countries including the UK, by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. For every tonne of hemp produced, 1.63 tonnes of CO2 is removed from the air. Hemp can absorb 15 tonnes of CO2 per hectare.
Roccasecca is just one of many Italian cities considering hemp processing and planting.
Umbria, a neighbouring region to Lazio, has also started planting hemp with the aim of creating a hemp fibre and hurd supply chain. The city is also interested in the phytoremediation, and Phyto-purification of water in the region through hemp.
An increase in hemp farming and also an investment into infrastructure would allow Italian companies to start developing hemp-fibre-based bioplastics and biopolymers. It could also serve the textile and fashion industries where alternative fibres are in high demand.
Hemp cultivation has been legal in Italy since 2016. Until the second world war, Italy was the largest producer of hemp but the move towards synthetic fibres meant that production was scaled back.
During the pandemic, Italy proposed a law change regarding personal grows to allow medical cannabis patients to cultivate up to four plants at home. A petition on medical cannabis circulated last year gathered over 500,000 signatures which may trigger a referendum on legalisation.
Katya Kowalski, head of strategy at Volteface said: “The introduction of hemp farming across Italy is a welcome initiative. Hemp is a high value, sustainable and versatile crop. In the midst of economic and environmental turmoil, hemp is a viable crop from widespread job creation to offsetting carbon-intensive building.
Hemp is an excellent demonstration of how cannabis reform is a much broader and varied area of policy than simply recreational drug use.”
She added: “I hope that these positive changes continue to reframe the reform sector and that hemp farming is taken up further across Europe and in the UK.”
When it comes to English hemp supply chains or production, Katya notes that changes would need to be made to THC levels to allow farmers more freedom.
“In order for the UK to capitalise on this, changes need to be made to the outdated restrictions on hemp farming. As per recommendations in Volteface’s report, Pleasant Lands allowing hemp seed varieties with a THC percentage above 0.2 per cent and up to 1 per cent would improve the health of the plant and increase the yield of CBD per acre.
Alongside this, investment into the sector and moving hemp farming under DEFRA as opposed to the Home Office to streamline this industry more”
Could the UK produce more hemp?
Hemp designer Laura Bossom, founder of Cultiva commented on what it would take for the UK to increase hemp production.
“As an industry, What we are waiting for is the government to put forward farmer incentives such as making policy changes that would allow farmers to benefit from growing hemp. Last year there were conversations happening [remove: at the moment] around building facility centres in the UK for processing. As a nation, we are only growing 1600 hectares a year and we must grow more to make it viable.” she said.
“There were initial talks about importing fibre from Europe but that doesn’t seem economically viable or sustainable in terms of emissions. I’m sure the government is aware of the information coming from research and other projects being put forward by a lot of associations. We are waiting for the government to give us the go-ahead and back it completely. They are protecting the Pharmaceutical CBD markets by making it difficult for farmers to grow. They don’t actually benefit much from growing hemp as the CBD margin on their crop is not there due to a ban on processing CBD in the UK.”
She added: “We need to be building our local industries and I don’t see why the government won’t do it. I think it’s just a matter of when.”
When it comes to private investment, Covid has caused disruption in the market and the hardiness of hemp could mean sturdier equipment is needed. However, government backing could secure private investors who may feel nervous about the sector.
Laura said: “The other issue we have is that it is quite a long process. When you look at other natural fibres, they are not as strong as hemp, so they are quicker and easier to process. Hemp is so hardy that it requires decortication with quaternized action and a lot of refining processes.
We need a facility centre that will cost a lot of money but will be profitable in the long term. It’s a big investment! A lot of investors during Covid have been wary of putting their money into a high-risk project when they aren’t seeing the government backing it or farming policy encouraging growth.”