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Lidl recalls hemp products over high THC levels

Lidl has recalled hemp products sold in its Irish stores and warned customers over high THC levels.

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Lidl has recalled hemp products
Lidl has recalled hemp products sold in its Irish stores

Lidl has recalled hemp products sold in its Irish stores and warned customers over high THC levels.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has issued a recall notice for all Vita D’ or Bio-Organic Hemp Seed Oil and all Mogota Hemp Tea sold at Lidl with a best before date of 31 December, 2022.

A statement from FSAI said they were being recalled due to “elevated levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)”. 

Customers are being asked not to consume the products and to return them to stores for a full refund.

It comes after Lidl recalled cannabis-related products in its German shops following a police raid in a Bavarian store.

German police raided the Rosenheim branch of the Lidl over CBD cookies and other products including cannabis energy drinks and brownies.

The supermarket giant signed a multimillion dollar deal with cannabis food suppliers, The Green Dealers to sell its products, which are thought to contain no CBD or THC.

They were said to be removed from shelves as a “precautionary measure” while investigations were carried out.

However, in a statement following the recall the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), which represents hemp farmers, producers and traders, has said the decision is based on “inaccurate guideline values”.

Daniel Kruse, president of EIHA commented: “Hemp seed oil is a safe and popular oil among consumers  containing valuable omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The review will show that this  hemp seed oil is marketable and does not have any intoxicating effects. Moreover, it  should be clarified that, when talking about THC, only a high intake of delta-9 THC  can have intoxicating effects, while the so-called THCA, the THC acid, has no  intoxicating effect at all.”

In Germany, there is currently no defined limit value for THC consumption from food.  The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has given unnecessarily low guideline values for ready-to-eat products.

For two decades EIHA has been advocating for a harmonised and science-based approach to THC levels in food across the EU.

It is hoped that by the end of 2021 the European Commission will adopt binding limits for THC in foodstuffs across Europe, including 7.5 mg/kg total THC  for hemp seed oil.

This would bring the limits in line with other countries such as North America, and Australia.

Lorenza Romanese, EIHA managing director said: “We urgently need these limit values in Europe. Today, operators are facing regulatory  divergence across Member States that do have a negative impact on their businesses by hindering the trade of these products. What the sector needs the most is legal  certainty based on recent studies. We should precisely put consumers first by offering  them crystal clear information and transparency on what they are buying.”

Markets and industry

Cannabis beverage market to reach £6.43bn by 2027

Fortune Business Insights says the market will grow at a CAGR of 50.9 per cent from 2020 to 2027.

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Cannabis beverage market to reach £6.43bn by 2027

A new report has projected the cannabis beverage market to reach £6.43bn (USD$8521.6m) by 2027.

The report from Fortune Business Insights, which offers expert corporate analysis and data, has said the market is set to see increasing growth due to the surging popularity of the products. 

It noted that the online retail segment is set to dominate and that specialty stores would see greater sales if they display novel products online.

With consumer demand increasingly shifting toward chemical-free and natural trends and moving away from unhealthy consumption habits such as smoking, the report suggests consumers will increasingly move toward novel cannabis products like beverages. 

In particular, consumers in Europe and North America are rapidly inclining towards these trends, such as recognisable and herbal formulations, chemical-free, and all-natural cannabis beverages.

However, it highlights that governments of various countries are implementing stringent regulations on the distribution and manufacturing of such THC products – a factor that is likely to hamper the market’s growth in the near future.

Regionally, the sector is set to favour growth in North America, as, since the passing of the 2018 US Farm Bill, the demand for hemp-CBD has surged rapidly, according to the report. It also highlights that Latin America, Oceania, and Asia will exhibit slow growth because of the ban of cannabis beverages in these regions.

Recent developments have seen leading lifestyle brand, Tonino Lamborghini, move into the market through a licensing agreement with The Flora Growth Corp which will see the distribution of CBD beverages in North America and Columbia. Additionally, Canopy Growth Corp is planning to introduce a new range of cannabis beverages into the US to strengthen its position in the sector.

To read the report in full, please visit: https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/enquiry/request-sample-pdf/cannabis-beverages-market-100738

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Markets and industry

Synbiotic acquires 50.1% of cannabis group in significant merger for Europe

Synbiotic SE has acquired 50.1 per cent of Daniel Kruse’s cannabis group in what it has described as the most significant merger for the European cannabis sector. 

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Synbiotic acquires 50.1% of cannabis group in significant merger for Europe

Synbiotic SE, the largest listed cannabis company in Europe, has made the acquisition of cannabis industry pioneer Daniel Kruse’s group of companies at a valuation of €11.2m (~£9.53m).

The 50.1 per cent acquisition of Kruse’s companies will see Synbiotic SE securing the subsequent acquisition of the remaining 49.9 per cent by option. With the acquisition of the companies, Hanf Farm, Hempro International, Hemp Factory and MH medical hemp, Synbiotic is raising its sales forecast for 2021 to €15m (~£12.76m).

Synbiotic has said that the addition of the companies will enrich its portfolio with vital infrastructures and profitable brands.

CEO of SynBiotic, Lars Müller, commented: “The co-operation with Daniel Kruse is a genuine accolade in the cannabis sector. SynBiotic SE will benefit massively from what amounts to over half a century of combined know-how gathered by industry pioneers Daniel Kruse and Rafael Dulon. 

“So far, the only comparable acquisitions have taken place in Canada. This makes this merger the most significant in the European cannabis sector. I am greatly honoured by the trust Daniel Kruse and Rafael Dulon have displayed in SynBiotic SE; this shows that we are on the right track with our vision.”

Read more: Psychedelic entrepreneur Christian Angermayer acquires SynBiotic shares

Kruse, president of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) and industry pioneer with more than 25 years of experience in the sector, commented:  “After 25 years in the hemp industry, it is a great pleasure and honour for me to have found the right partner for the coming decades with SynBiotic SE. Our decades of experience alongside the supply chain of our group of companies find an excellent complement in the enormous dynamics of SynBiotic SE.

“The appealing nature and charisma of Lars Müller and his team contribute, but it is above all their displaying the highest professionalism and efficiency that has won us over. This combination makes SynBiotic SE the next Unicorn candidate and an ideal partner for me. The European hemp and cannabis market is set to become one of the most exciting and successful industries in the coming years. The challenges yet to be mastered are well known, but the resulting opportunities are unlimited.”

Rafael Dulon, managing director of Hanf Farm, the largest organic hemp farm in Europe, and expert member of the International Institute for Cannabinoids (ICANNA), has also worked in the hemp industry for 25 years. He was awarded the Global Hemp Innovation Award at the World Hemp Congress in 2015 for the development of a hemp harvester.

Dulon stated: “The synergies created for Hanf Farm through its inclusion in the SynBiotic SE Group will lead to significantly faster growth. Within SynBiotic SE’s strong network of people and companies, we will be much better able to implement our ambitious goals in expanding our capacities and competencies as an original agricultural producer and primary processor of hemp.

“I am very pleased that Lars Müller fully supports my ideas for the development of sustainable, organic agriculture. Together, we will use the great potential of hemp in agriculture and market our healthy, climate-friendly products even more vigorously, and as well develop many new products. I look forward to using my many years of experience to help support Lars Müller’s vision.”

Synbiotic is listed on the Frankfurt and Düsseldorf stock exchanges and announced plans to begin listing on the Canadian NEO Exchange in Toronto in October. 

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Markets and industry

First-ever UK EIS and SEIS fund launched for cannabis

An SEIS and EIS fund has been launched in the UK that will target the medical cannabis sector.

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First-ever UK EIS and SEIS fund launched for cannabis

For the first time, an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) fund has been launched in the UK.

The launch of the first-of-its-kind MEDCAN Fund has been announced in a statement by Óskare Capital UK, which will advise the fund managed by Sapphire Capital Partners LLP.

Óskare said that the fund will invest in both early-stage UK companies and global companies that have the requisite operations within the UK to provide investors with access to a diversified portfolio of companies in the sector.

The Fund already has a pipeline of deals and will invest in startups across the value chain.

Óskare Capital UK director, Oliver Lamb, commented: “We were motivated to set up the MEDCAN fund with Sapphire Capital Partners LLP given that around 40 per cent of our European dealflow is coming from the UK, and the tax breaks investors can gain through the SEIS and EIS schemes are significant.”

EIS and SEIS are UK government initiative schemes that encourage growth and development by granting private UK investors significant tax breaks when investing in qualifying early-stage companies. 

The MEDCAN Fund team will specifically target leading companies in the UK which it considers to have strong IP and which are developing novel therapeutics that target the endocannabinoid system. It will also invest in companies that form part of the wider medical cannabis ecosystem of services and products.

Óskare highlighted the case of UK cannabis company, GW Pharmaceuticals, the producer of the FDA-approved cannabis-based epilepsy medication Epidiolex, which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for (USD)$7.2bn.

Óskare Capital UK director, Nicola Broughton, said: “Whilst GW is clearly an excellent example of a UK success story in the sector, we believe that there are opportunities in the market with stronger intellectual property which address far wider ranges of medical conditions that would result in even greater exits.”

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