For some time now, this dear hemp flower, of which cannabidiol (CBD) is a part, has been found in more and more markets (cosmetics, food products, furniture...). CBD, also known as "Cannabis light", is growing in popularity mainly because of its positive impact on well-being. But also because it is completely legal to want and to be able to obtain products <0.2% of H.T. Since 2018 in France, for example, shops have been springing up in most of the major French cities (Paris, Lille, Besançon, Bethune, etc.), as well as in less densely populated areas. A phenomenon that is not ready to stop thanks to the court decision of last November. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the ban on the marketing of CBD in France was illegal. An opinion and a decision that the French Court of Cassation then followed, in June 2021.
In some other countries, CBD is even beginning to be found in all levels of food and catering. In the United States (California, for example), the Los Angeles-based ice cream brand Mellow Ice Cream has a range of delicious ice creams with the added therapeutic benefits of hemp flower (CBD ice cream). The company is a pioneer in its field, and stands out in a rapidly expanding consumer market for edible goods, and in a region where cannabis is an important part of society and mores.
WHEN WILL FOOD DBC BE INTRODUCED IN EUROPE?
Between January 2019 and November 2020, around one hundred notifications concerning foods containing unauthorised novel food ingredient cannabidiol (CBD) were published in the RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) food alert portal, notably by several European countries such as Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, but also Belgium, Finland, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, and Poland. These notifications mainly concern food supplements and oils, but also other foods such as chocolate, chewing gum, coffee with hemp flowers, honey, or drinks.
On French soil, the DGCCRF (Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes) applies the interpretation of the Novel Food catalogue (issued by the European Commission). CBD and CBD oil are considered unauthorised, either as food or as a food supplement. Only hemp seed or hemp seed oil (obtained by cold pressing) without THC and CBD are considered as food in France and can be used in food supplements. We can add to this the fact that, in France, there is a national restriction that goes further than the European regulation: the Order of 22 August 1990 only authorises the cultivation, import, export and industrial and commercial use of the fibres and seeds of the CMango Skunkannabis sativa The authorised at European level.
To date, three applications for authorisation of CBD as a novel food have been submitted by the European Commission for evaluation by EFSA: Synthetic Trans-cannabidiol, Cannabidiol derived by chemical synthesis and finally Synthetic Cannabidiol. Files concerning only synthetic Canabidiol. Several applications for authorisation were also submitted to the European Commission. But they were blocked in July 2020 because of a preliminary opinion of the Commission that CBD extracted from hemp flowers would be covered by Annex I of the Convention on Narcotic Drugs ("cannabis extracts and tinctures"). Total nonsense.
On 19 November 2020, the CJEU concluded that CBD (cannabidiol) extracted from the plant Cannabis sativa This decision follows a request for a preliminary ruling concerning the French legislation limiting the industrialisation and marketing of hemp to fibres and seeds only (Order of 22 August 1990). This ruling is not specific to food and does not alter the fact that CBD (extracted from Cannabis sativa or synthetic) is considered a novel food under Regulation (EU) 2015/2283, and that CBD could only be used in food with a specific authorisation granted under this previous regulation. However, this opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union should influence the European Commission to review its preliminary opinion and agree to send Novel food applications concerning CBD to EFSA for further evaluation.
In conclusion, we may find more and more hemp-based foods in our diet. Good or bad? Does it help with environmental problems? These are the questions. To be continued...