British Cannabis products receive confirmation of being the first Cannabis-derived CBD oils and supplements set to remain on the market
British Cannabis™, registered as CBD Health Foods Ltd, is delighted to become the first company to receive confirmation from the Food Standards Agency UK (FSA). that its cannabis-derived products will remain on the market.
On Thursday 13th January 2022, the FSA confirmed via emails to British Cannabis CEO, Thomas Whettem, that the evidence submitted in support of 15 dossiers, spanning over 3,000 products “has been checked and is sufficient” and that “the public list will be amended to reflect these changes”.
Meanwhile, it is widely speculated that an as-yet-undetermined number of other products, made by other manufacturers, will be removed from shelves by Trading Standards. This process looks set to begin once the FSA public lists are updated later in 2022.
British Cannabis products
Robert Jappie, the partner at legal firm Ince and preeminent cannabis industry lawyer, remarked at the news: “I’m delighted that British Cannabis has received a positive response from the FSA to their Novel Food submission. Admission of British Cannabis’ products to the compliance registers confirms the company’s position at the forefront of the U.K. CBD industry. Novel Food compliance should now provide a platform for the sector to build on its fantastic success to date.”
Over the course of 18 months and a multi-million-pound investment, British Cannabis, whose brands are stocked across many pharmacies and retailers internationally, have dedicated themselves to ensuring the long-term continuity of all-natural, cannabis-based food supplements in the UK. This is for the reassurance of their own consumers and of all the customers whose brands are powered by British Cannabis.
Making this achievement of particular note is the fact that British Cannabis products are among the few remaining on the market to use ‘100 per cent Cannabis sativa L.”, naturally derived formulas, thus they contain the hundreds of clinically proven plant phytochemicals found in cannabis, whilst also being 0 per cent THC, meaning that they will not cause a “high”. Their food supplements (CBD oils, capsules etc.) are also free from other controlled cannabinoids.
British Cannabis’ CEO, Thomas Whettem, reacted shortly after hearing the great news: “Confirmation directly from the Food Standards Agency, that British Cannabis will be the first manufacturer In the world to have cannabis-derived consumer products ratified by the UK government, is yet another monumental breakthrough in our history. For years we have not just pioneered change in this industry but strived to set the bar when it comes to compliance, safety and the simple dedication to excellence we have had since day one.”
British Cannabis’ Managing Director, David Ralson, commented on this landmark news: “This is a huge milestone for our business and the Cannabis industry as a whole. I would firstly like to pay testimony to our staff, who over the past 6 years have endeavoured to make British Cannabis the leading legal-cannabis experts in our sector and this exemplifies our phrase ‘’We Know More Because We Do More’’.
We have always believed in wholly cannabis-derived, natural products and obtaining the highest quality standards. This is underpinned by our own retail brands, which to date have received over 4,200 Trustpilot reviews with a 5-Star rating.
This also paves the way for our trusted white label partners brands, who continue to work with us, to also remain on the UK market. This allows our business and its compliant partners to continue to grow in what is going to be a very exciting year indeed.”
At the time of release, the Novel Foods public lists have yet to be updated.
Goodrays: driving change since the fruition of the UK CBD industry
Co-founder and CEO of UK-based CBD brand Goodrays, Eoin Keenan, has been on a mission to help develop the UK’s cannabis industry.
UK CBD company Goodrays specialises in a range of food and drink products – with the aim of educating the consumer and bringing CBD into the mainstream.
Founder and CEO of Goodrays, Eoin Keenan, has been in the cannabis and CBD industry since its fruition. Studying Drug Policy at Trinity University, Dublin, and using CBD and cannabis as anxiety and stress relievers Eion says he has long been an advocate for the plant’s use.
Keenan left a job in a tech business and headed for Canada and California to better understand the cannabis market, working with cultivators and manufacturers.
“I was really interested in the space and helping to pursue policy but, also to see if we could bring this to the masses and actually change the legislation,” said Keenan.
“They really took me under their wing – what they taught me from a commercial standpoint was that the three areas of growth were in the ancillary services, in innovation and how we deliver cannabinoids and, on the brand side.
“How do we actually build brands that people can connect with, people can get educated from and that also can get really strong distribution and strong products as well?”
The beginnings of the UK CBD industry
Eoin returned to the UK with this knowledge in 2015 when there was a very limited industry in the country. He began helping to build the industry – including analysis company Prohibition Partners, and one of Europe’s most well-known B2B cannabis platforms Cannabis Europa.
Keenan commented: “I wanted to help bring together industry leaders from business and from pharmaceuticals, but also political leaders to help advance legislation. But, I think the dream was always moving to the consumer side – bringing CBD and good quality products to the masses was always a vision.
“I wanted to take it mainstream, put it on to grocery stores, marketplaces, distribution points from airlines and retail.”
A key aspect of bringing quality CBD products into the mainstream, says Keenan, was also centred around educating the consumer.
“I was really good at educating people on simple questions around CBD and educating people on what they need, what dose they need, what they should expect, the brand and what should they should look for in products,” he said.
“It has been pretty fun and we’ve now got a full range from CBD drops to CBD gummies to CBD drinks. They fit into different needs states, whether it’s middle of the day relaxation, mid-afternoon functional drinks or evening time. They are really positioned around relaxation and anti-stress, which, for me is the most interesting and the most relevant part of CBD – but also commercially the biggest opportunity.”
Keenan, who is also very interested in cannabis cultivation, says watching the industry develop in the UK has been fascinating. He highlights that cultivation and manufacturing saw a huge amount of investment in the beginning when the market had few serious brands.
“Now, of course, there are really great brands that exist,” he said. “However, at the end where consumers were interacting with CBD – there wasn’t a mass there. Early on, I could see that it was a gap in the market and, for me, it’s the most valuable part of the market.
“Budweiser doesn’t own hop farms – they own the brand – and I think that’s probably the most long-term valuable piece, as well as having good distribution, a loyal community and a loyal consumer base and the infrastructure to scale up.
“We’re not interested in being a vertical supply chain, we’re interested in being a specialist brand.”
The UK CBD industry now
Eoin highlights that the Novel Foods process has catalysed the industry – removing, he says, non-compliant products from the shelves.
He commented: “It has been really difficult for smaller brands because of the expenses but also because of the uncertainty. It’s very difficult for small brands to raise capital amongst that uncertainty, and to secure distribution amongst that uncertainty as well. It’s a really difficult position for small brands to be in if you don’t have serious financial backing to survive.
“But I think ultimately, for consumers, it’s probably a good thing to have increased regulation. It just probably hasn’t occurred the way most people would have wanted it to occur. These things take time and they’re difficult to do right. So it’s, it’s to be expected that it is a lengthy process at the same time.
Keenan says the UK has become an interesting CBD market, and that looking at the global markets, the US and the UK tend to be the most innovative food and drink markets.
“We tend to be very much on the cutting edge of innovation and also I think the UK population, particularly London-centric and urban centres tend to be quite stressed out,” said Keenan. “So, they’re looking for these kinds of wellness solutions. So, I think it’s become an interesting market and we find European partners looking to the UK for innovation as well.
“Despite all the regulatory changes, it’s become a real hotspot of innovation.”
Eoin says the UK CBD industry is heading in a positive direction, with regulation, research and compliance contributing to a boost for investment back into CBD.
“It will give a boost to retailers to jump in on this and start stocking it. This is something that’s going fully mainstream – by the end of this year, every big grocer will stock it. Everyone should have access to CBD either at the click of a button, or within 5 to 15 minutes of their house. So, I think that’s quite exciting for this year.
“Long term, the reality is that the CBD market opens pathways for other cannabinoids as well, whether that be cannabinoids that are under current research and can help them with other solutions.
“For me, Goodrays is a passion project as much as it is a business, so I’m interested to see where it goes in five to 10 years’ time. And that’s why we educate people on the plant and why we want that full mainstream distribution.”
After closing its second funding round earlier this year for £2.5m, Goodrays will now be working to scale up the business. With products already featuring stores such as Selfridges and Amazon and a partnership with Anytime Fitness, the company expects to see increasing retail appearances in the coming year.
Cookies launches flagship store in Austria with InterCure
Cookies will be bringing its unique CBD menu to Europe for the first time.
After announcing a partnership in December 2021, Cookies and InterCure have now opened the first flagship Cookies store in Austria, located in the Neubau district of Vienna.
Cookies’ Vienna store will be offering the brand’s unique CBD menu along with clothing and life-style products.
The Vienna launch represents the spearhead of an expansion into additional European countries, following the successful collaboration between the two companies in the global pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis markets, including Israel.
President of Cookies, Parker Berling, commented: “Bringing the Cookies brand and its products to Vienna is a core part of our global expansion strategy.
“By partnering with a global partner like InterCure, we can share cannabis-based medicine and culture from California to Europe.”
Cookies – which was founded in 2010 by billboard-charting rapper and entrepreneur Berner and Bay Area breeder and cultivator Jai, and is one of the most globally recognised cannabis companies in the world, has also stated that – as regulations evolve, pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis will be available for Austrian patients, including Cookies EU-GMP THC products.
InterCure, a Cookies’ international partner, is already cultivating, manufacturing and distributing GMP standard, Cookies-branded products through its Cookies national medical cannabis pharmacy chain, will be leveraging its licensed international supply chain to serve the growing number of medical cannabis patients in Europe.
InterCure’s CEO, Alexander Rabinovitch, commented: “We are proud to make another big advancement in the expansion of our winning model into Europe and deliver on our promise to supply the highest quality and reliable cannabis products to every territory with a supportive regulatory framework.
”We look forward to welcoming Austrians and the millions of tourists who visit Vienna to the first Cookies’ location in the country.
“I am grateful for the amazing work of our teams in Europe and partners at Cookies who helped make this successful launch and look forward to the many more to come across the continent.”
Cannabis industry campaign launched against social media ad restrictions
Cellular Goods has launched a petition to lift restrictions on advertising and marketing CBD and CBG online.
With the cannabis industry struggling to advertise and market products due to restrictions on social media sites, a new petition is aiming to encourage social media giants to change their policies.
Over 4.6 billion people use social media, with companies across the globe using the sites to reach potential customers. However, media giants such as Google and Meta have included cannabinoids in their prohibited content and have implemented blanket bans on the advertising of cannabis-related products.
With the global CBD market projected to reach around $47bn by 2028 from $4.9bn in 2021 according to Vantage Market Research, the popularity of cannabinoid products is growing. However, these social media advertising bans mean that companies are unable to tap into their consumer base through usual advertising routes.
Cellular Goods says the ban is also strengthening misconceptions around CBG and CBD, and hampering the public’s ability to access verified information, making it more difficult for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and learn about their wellness benefits.
To tackle the problem, Cellular Goods has launched the petition in partnership with seven leading CBD companies, which together comprise ‘The CBG and CBD Brands Coalition’, to raise awareness of what it describes as “the unjust policies around the marketing and sale of CBG and CBD-based products on Google, Facebook and Instagram”.
The ‘Stop the ban on advertisement of CBG and CBD products on social media and search engines’ petition calls on Google, Meta and other leading technology and social media companies to remove CBG and CBD from their list of prohibited content, and to allow brands to sell and advertise these products on their platforms.
It states: “As the dominant players in the market, we believe that leading technology and social media companies such as Google and Meta are well placed to play a positive role in tackling misinformation by revising their current broad-brush approach, as allowing information from legitimate companies to appear on their platforms will serve to improve the quality of the information around CBG and CBD online – to the ultimate benefit of consumers.
“Cannabidiol and cannabigerol are non-addictive and non-psychoactive, which means that they don’t cause a high, compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant.”
In a recent conversation with Cannabis Wealth, Cellular Goods CEO, Anna Chokina, commented: “It’s very hard for us as manufacturers and producers, not only to sell our products, but also to deliver truthful information to the customers about what the industry is and what the products do.
“With Google and Meta having taken the position they have, I think there is an opportunity for us, as an industry, to team up and perhaps get our voices heard so that they could take responsibility effectively for some of the misinformation.
“That’s happening right now because people have to use word of mouth – it is people talking to people, and that’s how consumers understand what’s happening in the marketplace.
“I think if there is one side effect of meta and Google not taking a more proactive approach to allow companies to advertise freely or to trade freely on their platforms, is that consumers do not know the difference between CBD or CBG – they don’t know the promises the ingredients can bring. So, we as the brand would like to become that voice that drives clarity.”
Cellular Goods highlights that a growing body of scientific and anecdotal evidence has shown that CBD and CBG have a variety of wellness effects. The company’s recent white paper ‘Cannabinoids for the Prevention of Aging‘, for example, has shown that CBG has a host of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ingredient with immense skincare potential, preventing visible signs of aging caused by UV-light exposure and inflammation.
With different regulations on CBD products across countries, the petition highlights that social media giants taking a blanket ban approach to advertising these products demonstrates that these companies have not caught up with increased consumer appetite for CBG and CBD in key markets within Europe and the US.
Chokina stated: “CBD and CBG are increasingly accepted by society as well as across multiple jurisdictions worldwide. Despite this, some leading technology and social media companies, such as Google and Meta, have implemented blanket bans for cannabinoid brands on their platforms.
“This anachronistic policy is limiting access to verified information about CBG and CBD, as well as affecting legitimate businesses and preventing the sector from reaching its full potential.
“Through this industry-backed petition, we are inviting leading technology and social media companies to remove the blanket ban on the sale of CBG and CBD. Not only will this support the industry’s growth, but it will also enable the industry to raise awareness so that more people can take advantage of their wellness benefits.”
The petition is hosted on Change.org and is available here.
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