The French authorities implemented a new “interim framework” for CBD, allowing for the very first time it to be sold and registered as an food supplement in Europe.
The new framework will, according to its supporters, significantly increase the opportunities available to CBD-based businesses across France, allowing them to sell their products with greater confidence to France’s biggest retailers and pharmacies.
Others have said that this is the latest attack on hemp and full-spectrum CBD in France. It represents an attempt to push not only the industry to one which is dominated by CBD isolate, but also to one that revolves around an agroindustry centered solely on profit.
The new & interim Framework
For the first time, French CBD companies will be able to submit their product for registration as a food complement with the Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes or DGCCRF (in English Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention) on on February 24, 2023. According to reports, this new framework was designed as a temporary measure in order to give CBD companies some stability until The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA’s) novel food regulation is complete.
The Union of Industrialists for the Valorization of Hemp Extracts is a French CBD Trade Group that has over 50 members, most of whom ‘aren’t people in the cannabis industry.’ This marks the culmination of a ’18-month negotiation’ with the French Authorities. It is believed that the group presented its plan to regulators and politicians last year before being validated and put into effect by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The UK public list, where CBD products that were already available on the UK market prior to a specific date can continue on the UK market until the validation of novel foods is complete, has many similarities.
This framework, rather than writing new regulations that would be obsolete when EFSA’s novel food process concludes eventually, will allow CBD edibles in France to legally sold until then, while providing clarity for businesses and consumers.
The requirements to qualify as food supplements allow products with no THC, so any CBD full spectrum extracts will be excluded. According to EFSA recommendations, CBD products should contain THC levels of no more than 0.1 ug/kg (acute dose reference). These products must contain less than 20% CBD or 50mg of daily dosage.
Industry sources doubted whether enforcement could be guaranteed, given the lack of current enforcement.
Growing Opportunities for CBD Brands in Europe
The French hemp industry is the largest in Europe and CBD products market is one of Europe’s largest. This further fuels the growing European CBD industry, reports project the European CBD market to grow by 20 percent this year. However, this growth could be significantly increased with greater distribution.
About two-thirds of France’s 25,000 independent pharmacy outlets sell CBD. If you compare this to two years ago in France, it is a massive change. The CBD edibles market is growing in France. It’s estimated to be worth between EUR200 and EUR300 millions.
When you sell edibles you reach a larger market and increase sales. While sales of flower are reportedly steadily declining with the availability of newer and better products on the marled.
Ultimately, it appears while the CBD industry has a lot of evolving to cover still, there are ongoing steps in the right direction. This gives the industry confidence to continue growth in manner that provides a framework that allows for more investment by CBD brands and consumers to expect more standards.