Following the changes to the Novel Foods Regulations and the uncertainty as to if the scope of the regulations would include all cannabinoids and extracts of cannabis.
The Cannabis Trades Association has expressed its opposition to submitting a Novel Foods Application covering cannabis extracts. Embarking on this application process would mean that the products detailed, within any products, would have to come off the market until such a time as an authorisation is granted as the transitional measures to allow the continued sale ended on the January 1, 2019.
Cannabis Trades Association position
The Cannabis Trades Association (CTA) made confirmations that:
- It is CTA opinion that cannabis extracts are not novel;
- There have been no legally binding determinations on the status of cannabis extracts and their Novel Food status;
- All statements pertaining to the Novel status made by the European Food Standards Agency and Member States are currently only opinion;
- Any opinions made by the EFSA cannot be legally relied upon to secure a prosecution for breach of the NFR;
- The Novel Food Regulations state it is the Food business operator’s responsibility to determine a food falls within the scope of the Regulation;
- CTA put forward that there is no requirement to submit an application for a Novel Food as it’s our opinion cannabis extract are not Novel; and
- The risk of submission of an application could result in products coming off the market until such a time as an authorisation is granted.
While there is no need for Novel Foods applications to be made for cannabis extracts, there is a real need within the industry for legal clarification that extracts are not Novel.
As such, following discussions with the EFSA and SANTE, we are proposing a legal route to reach a final determination which has the backing of several Member States in this course of action, all of whom have been visited personally.
As part of this process, which is a legal and fully verified action, the Cannabis Trades Association will ask all committee members of the Novel Foods Working Group to agree to a process by which it would be unlawful to proceed with any enforcement action against any Cannabis Trades Association member.
Ensuring that only products and sellers registered with the Association are proven to be by the legal team’s opinion.
The Cannabis Trades Association will provide data to every EU member state to show that its members are selling compliantly and that their products are fully compliant with what CTA believes is not a Novel Food.
As another part of the process, CTA will also introduce TrustCanna, an independent expert panel regulating and registering sellers and products to the Member States.