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Antonin Cohen, who faced the charges along with his fellow KanaVape co-founder Sébastien Béguerie, said the lack of clear regulations on CBD prevented safe market development.

“The national court must assess available scientific data in order to make sure that the real risk to public health alleged does not appear to be based on purely hypothetical considerations,” the court wrote.

The World Health Organization says CBD is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile” and that there is no evidence “of any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”.

The ruling was made in relation to the prosecution in France of KanaVape, a company that exports CBD oil made from whole hemp plants.

The court ruled that the French ban on the marketing of hemp-derived CBD products contradicted EU law on the free movement of goods.

The decision by the court of justice of the European Union deals a severe blow to efforts by some EU countries to limit the sale of CBD, while simultaneously giving the CBD industry a boost. Many products are currently sold in the EU in a legal grey area.

“It is fundamental to develop strict quality standards in the interests of consumers in order to avoid the circulation of dangerous products,” he said. “My goal is to improve access to the benefits of plants, in a legal and secure environment.”

Some of the measures European states are now taking can be illustrated by a recently adopted resolution proposed by the Agricultural Commission in the Italian parliament. It proposes a raise in the THC level in the industrial hemp that comes from EU varieties from 0.2 to 0.3 %. This would level it up with the rest of the global market since permitted levels of THC in CBD products in North America and Australia are 0.3 %. It also asks for the regulation on the sales of dried, chopped or pelleted biomass from the entire plant or its parts, with THC content not exceeding 0.2 %. There are no current guidelines on CBD or THC limits considering food in Italy, and this resolution calls for defining them.

Declaring CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids as ‘novel’ seems merely like a market entry barrier for every organic farmer in Europe. Its sole aim is to keep those little players off the ‘big boys’ playing field’. Food Safety standards have been met by European producers of CBD-Oil long before CBD was retroactively declared as a Novel Food in the wake of 2019. But this circumstance hammered the whole – young – CBD industry.”

The toxicological analyses carried out on those goods show that they contain a very low concentration of THC, considerably lower than the abovementioned threshold of 0.2% and that they have no psychotropic effects. Lastly, contrary to the applicant’s arguments, it is apparent from Article 4 of Directive 88/388 that the use of flavourings which do not contain any element or substance in a toxicologically dangerous quantity is permitted.

Polish Tax Classification on CBD oils

In Poland, tax classification places CBD oils in the same group as cooking oils and margarine, and therefore subjects to a 5% value-added tax (VAT) rate, comparing to a 23% rate for medical cannabis. Local reports say the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate and the police have intensified their enforcement activities on retail stores that sell CBD products. More than 20 Polish CBD stores were subjected to confiscation of their goods by law enforcement bodies.

In practice, to avoid leaves and flowers being left in the ‘grey area’ and to escape further regulatory confusion, some Italian companies started registering CBD hemp flower products as animal feed. However, registering pure cannabinoids such as CBD extracts as animal feed is not permitted. CBD for pet food is also forbidden.

Now that CBD is classified as a food, it is only logical for the European Commission to disregard the application of “novel” to foodstuffs like hemp extracts and CBD-oil and completely regard it as regular foodstuff,” said Cyrus Badde, CEO of the CBD-Oil Online Shop CBD-kaufen.com and president of the European Cannabinoids Association (cbd.limited).

In Romania, any consumable product originating from cannabis is controlled under criminal law. However, in 2019, a report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction showed that there are herbs, oils, and e-liquid at the Romanian market.