The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis has launched a quality charter designed to maintain high standards in the burgeoning British CBD industry.
Its Cannabinoid Industry Quality Charter is comprised of seven pillars: legal frameworks, testing, labelling, manufacturing, marketing ethics and sustainability. The idea is to foster a legally compliant, socially responsible and innovative CBD industry in the UK.
The CMC is Britain’s first and only trade body for businesses selling medicinal cannabis and CBD-based wellness products. Co-founder Steve Moore is also the founder of of Volteface, an advocacy organisation that seeks to legalise cannabis in the UK.
In June, the group conducted research that valued the UK’s CBD wellness sector at £300 million ($364 million). That makes it larger than the vitamin C and vitamin D categories combined, illustrating how valuable it is to the wellness industry.
The market is enjoying double-digit growth on an annual basis and CMC estimates it will be worth almost £1 billion ($1.21 billion) by 2025. It hired pollsters at YouGov to survey the British public and it upweighted the results to suggest that 6 million Brits have used a CBD product.
It then tested 30 CBD-based products plucked from British retail shelves and found that only 38% of them were within 10% of the advertised CBD content. A further 38% had less than half of the advertised CBD content, while one product had 0% CBD. Almost half of the selected products had measurable levels of THC or CBN, making them technically illegal in the UK.
It hopes that producers targeting the UK market will sign up to the charter, which will be delivered via a new partnership between the CMC and Global Regulatory Services.
Once the charter has enough signatories, the CMC will be to work with the Foods Standards Agency and the European Food Safety Agency to ensure that CMC members work towards full compliance.
“There is no ambiguity in what the regulators want,” said the group’s pharmacy lead, Dr. Andy Yates. “They want fully legally compliant products on the market. As we have long advocated, the doors have closed for the current approach used by some manufacturers by claiming that the rules are somehow different for the cannabis industry.
“This new initiative exists to ensure that our members are fully compliant to an agreed set of terms with the relevant regulatory bodies, ensuring consumers can continue to access legal, safe and quality CBD products.”
The CMS team also comprises co-founder Paul Birch, operations director Victoria Logan, development director Shomi Malik, research lead Jon Liebling, science lead Saoirse O’Sullivan, media lead Bill Griffin, business development lead Chana Greenberg and development and quality lead Marc Burbidge.
It believes that the UK should have one of the world’s safest, best regulated and most innovative medical cannabis market due to its publicly-funded National Health Service, top-tier research universities, and world-class life sciences sector.