The UK’s CBD sector looks set to shrink significantly as the roll out of new regulations continues to batter the industry.
Companies were told to submit detailed applications to the Food Standards Agency by March 31 in order to stand any chance of getting permission for their products to remain on sale in the UK.
It followed the British government’s adoption of European rules categorising CBD products as ‘novel foods’, an established regulatory status which puts the onus on businesses to demonstrate safety and quality in order to remain on shelves.
Last month the regulator began adding products which have been validated – meaning they have been temporarily approved pending further checks for full authorisation – to a public register.
But despite rising domestic consumer demand and a decision to to only allow products already on sale to apply for authorisation, it looks like the UK could come out the other side with a much smaller CBD sector.
The FSA has confirmed to Cannabis Wealth it received applications for 803 different CBD products – but only 42 have been advanced to the next stage of the process so far.
More than half of all applications (445) were ‘incomplete’ and a further 41 have been withdrawn altogether.
The FSA is still assessing 317 applications and the regulator believes there ‘could potentially be 100s of products’ on the final list – but it now seems highly likely the process will significantly reduce the range of options available to customers.
An FSA spokesperson said: “To date only 42 products have advanced onto the public list, these are linked to four validated applications.
“This reflects the complex nature of the industry, the quality of the evidence provided and the number of suitable applications at present.
“Many of the applications that have been received have been incomplete applications and do not provide enough information to assess acceptability.
“In a high number of cases we have had to ask for further information from companies before we can progress the validation process.
“We still expect that there could potentially be 100s of products on the list by the time it is complete later in the year.
“This list will reflect the products associated with companies that have taken the time to provide sufficient information to demonstrate the safety of their products.”
The public register – which can be accessed here – is not expected to be completed until June.
Health House signs deal to bring CBD toothpaste to the UK market
The medical cannabis distributors have signed a deal with Zelria to bring SprinjeneCBD toothpaste to Britain.
A CBD toothpaste is set to hit the UK market after a trans-Atlantic agreement was struck.
Zelira Therapeutics has signed a deal with UK-based Health House International to distribute the SprinjeneCBD product.
Under the terms of the deal, a minimum of $250,000 worth of the product will be introduced into the British market thanks to the exclusive partnership.
The toothpaste is already available to customers in the US and the move bolsters Zelira’s efforts to break into a market with ‘significant growth opportunities’.
Health House, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, are specialists at distributing medical cannabis products in the UK, Europe and Australia.
Zelira Therapeutics managing director, Dr Oludare Odumosu said: “Zelira took a very strategic position in the cannabinoid-based consumer product segment with the successful launch of our first SprinjeneCBD oral care toothpaste product in the US.
“Health House International has established distribution networks in emerging markets such as the UK, and will be a key channel as we continue to grow our global distribution footprint.
“Through distribution partners like Health House International, Zelira is able to reach larger market segments and accelerate the delivery of quality CBD oral care products globally.”
The deal was struck this week and can progress quickly as applications like toothpaste which are not ingested do not need to apply for validation under the novel foods process.
Tony Samios, Health House’s CEO for the UK and Europe, claimed the product may be able to fight common dental problems.
He said: “The Zelira CBD toothpaste brand manufactured by Springjene in the US, represents a unique product offering in Oral Healthcare, which adds to Health House’s existing range of cannabis products.
“It is made up of patented formulation of zinc, black seed oil and CBD which are thought to fight conditions like gingivitis and reduce gum inflammation, and to which the addition of CBD could make this even more effective.
“We are pleased to be able to bring this product into the UK market and distribute it to our range of clients. Test marketing to date suggests very strong interest in this product.”
Scottish CBD firm Voyager formally applies to join London market
The company is joining the Aquis Stock Exchange less than a year after it was founded.
Scotland-based CBD company Voyager has formally applied for admission to the Aquis Stock Exchange.
The move to join the London market confirms the fast rise of a company founded in November 2020 and already sitting on £1.5m worth of investment.
The company will trader under the ticker VOY on the stock exchange, a challenger body favoured by smaller firms for an alternative financing route to the London Stock Exchange.
Voyager is trading through 20 independent retail stores and chains, online platforms like Amazon, its own website – and has plans to open a shop in St Andrews next month.
Nick Tulloch, founder and chief executive of Voyager, said: “We are adopting a strictly professional approach to establishing the company and developing our business.
“CBD is a fast-growing industry so it should be no surprise that it will attract increasing attention from regulators.
“Mainstream retailers will, rightly, only deal with fully compliant businesses, so the strict governance framework we have established as part of the fabric of Voyager is a key element of our approach.
“We are realistic and do not expect overnight success, but I am encouraged by the pace of growth we have achieved in the last six months, both in terms of new distribution channels and sales, which gives the board confidence that this is an ideal time for us to be taking Voyager to the stock market.”
In February 2021, Voyager raised £874,000 through a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, and in April 2021 raised a further £741,000 through a private fundraise, including a commitment of £100,000 from Greencare Capital plc, the Aquis-listed investment company focused on medicinal cannabis and related areas.
The company re-registered as a PLC in June as part of its final preparations to list on AQSE.
Jill Overland and Nikki Cooper have joined Voyager as non-executive directors, bringing ‘significant experience’ to the board chaired by Eric Boyle.
Tulloch continued: “We want Voyager to become the pre-eminent trusted CBD brand in the UK.
“We display laboratory reports on our website so customers can see exactly what it is they are buying.
“Furthermore, we include detailed information on all of our labels, in compliance with UK standards.
“With an experienced team and a product line created in preparation for the UK’s new regulatory regime, we are well-placed to grow in tandem with the increasingly popular CBD health and wellness trend.”
New female-led CBD brand House of Wise launches late night support service
The US brand has set up a hotline so customers can receive support in the early hours.
A women-orientated CBD company has launched and announced a bespoke wellbeing hotline to celebrate its arrival.
The ‘U Up?’ text service from new CBD-brand House of Wise provides support and product discounts to customers in the early hours.
The service, which runs from 12am to 4am, is the brainchild of founder Amanda Goetz and specifically tailored to women’s issues.
House of Wise offers a full line of high-end full-spectrum CBD products aimed at sleep issues, reducing sex and improving sex.
The company was founded on the premise women’s issues were being overlooked in a male-dominated sector.
Using raw material grown in Colorado, the US company says the hotline will bring ‘more awareness and solutions to the millions of women struggling to find restful sleep, lower stress and increased sex drives’.
Amanda Goetz, founder & CEO of House of Wise, said: “Women today face double standards, and CBD carries stigma despite its potential to help so many.
“I’ve faced infertility, miscarriage, divorce, and single parenting in a pandemic – growing up in a small conservative town, cannabis was never an option for navigating all life throws our way.
“After giving CBD a try in my 30s, I found myself achieving more restful sleep and mental clarity as I navigated growing my career and my family on my own terms.
“I believe it’s important for women to transform what society has deemed ‘shameful’ into empowerment.
“We can’t ‘have it all’ without help. House of Wise is a brand designed to break down these stigmas and provide a supportive community using products that make a meaningful difference in their daily routine.”
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