CBD’s huge growth – the market is estimated to be worth £1 billion by 2025 – while great has also seen an increasing number of unscrupulous actors peddling contaminated products and the industry be described as operating like a Wild West.
In February 2019, however, CBD was classified by the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) as a “novel food”, meaning that safety studies are required for CBD products to ensure they are safe for human consumption.
In February 2020, the Food Standards Agency UK (FSA) set a deadline of 31 March 2021 for businesses to submit, and have fully validated, novel food authorisation applications. After this date, only products for which the FSA has a valid application will be allowed to remain on our shelves.
With just over two weeks to go until the deadline, we caught up with two brands to see how they’re getting on.
First of all
Pureis CBD is the first CBD company to receive a validated novel food application from the EFSA and FSA.
Co-founder Chanelle Lady McCoy told leafie: “After six years we’re so thrilled to be the first CBD company in the world to receive dual validation from the European Food Safety Authority and Food Standards Agency UK and are extremely proud to be setting a benchmark for compliance. A lot of work, financial investment and research has gone it to getting to where the company is at today. [Co-founder] Caroline Glynn and I worked together for 11 years in a global pharmaceutical company before we set up Chanelle McCoy Health together. We knew there was an unmet need for a pure, safe, quality assured CBD product backed by clinical studies. Hearing about people struggling to access CBD, or having to leave their shores to get access to CBD in countries that had regulated its use, really resonated with us. This was where our journey began.”
Thanks to their backgrounds in the prescription pharmaceutical market, Chanelle Lady McCoy and Caroline Glynn were more than comfortable and competent to navigate the novel food application – they had previously conducted numerous clinical studies and overcame many regulatory hurdles as they achieved registration of 2,500 product licenses in 96 countries.
Over the course of 18 months and an excess of £1.5 million investment, Pureis CBD had already completed a full suite of clinical studies necessary to meet and satisfy the EFSA and FSA UK when CBD was classed as a “novel food”.
Caroline Glynn said: “Novel food approval is a positive step in the right direction for breaking the stigma around CBD in the market. Only through industry taking the lead can this stigma be addressed.”
Chanelle Lady McCoy added: “Around eight million people in the UK alone take CBD, these customers are searching for a legitimate, reputable CBD brand with the backing of clinical studies. We are incredibly proud to be that brand for many.
“As we both come from a pharmaceutical background, safety is at the forefront of our minds all the time. Prior to the classification, CBD companies were allowed to operate under the vagueness of the law, which gave way to an unregulated sector and created more stigma around CBD. We must be able to give our customers the necessary reassurance that they are receiving, high-quality, full-certified CBD products.
“It is not easy, and it is expensive to fulfil the requirements of the EFSA and FSA, it would be difficult for companies who do not have any regulatory or scientific experience. We are very lucky as Caroline has her degree in Pharmacology, master’s in Biomedical Science and master’s in Law, so she was instrumental with running our clinical studies, compiling our dossier, submitting and liaising with the FSA and EFSA.”
Sharing the work
For those without a degree in pharmacology, finding the right partners to navigate the process with has been key.
Natashkinoltd is a souvenir and takeaway café located inside the fashion designer’s London flagship concept store in the heart of Mayfair. Here you can pick up an assortment of delicious cakes and gluten-free treats by Le Cordon Bleu alumnus and head chef Cramer, as well as CBD gummies.
Chef Cramer told us: “We take food and customer safety very seriously. We managed to avoid difficulties when launching our CBD gummies as we identified experienced partners to assist us with our dosing and CBD ingredients. Alexej Pikovsky, co-founder and CEO of Alphagreen, advised us on dosing and the wider CBD market and Mile High Labs supplied us with the CBD isolate ingredient. Mile High Labs is a leading CBD company and one of the first raw ingredients suppliers to apply for novel foods. It is our sole supplier of our CBD and we have been very impressed with the product quality.
“We believe that regulation is a good thing, as it ensures that customers are protected and that they can be assured that what they are purchasing is of genuine quality. As a leading brand, these are principles that are central to our ethos.”